After reading almost everyone’s opinion on AI-generated writing, especially what editors, content moderators, and publications are saying about it, I felt like quitting.
I could no longer see the point of continuing to do what I do because even if I keep writing to publish, there’s a chance that this new controversial climate in the (online) publishing world will affect me considerably as a multilingual writer.
If you didn’t know this already, yes, there are people saying that multilingual writers or writers whose first language isn’t English can’t write (faster) in English without AI assistance, as if people weren't already using AI-powered writing/editing tools years before the ChatGPT fever.
For this reason, I think writers like me are more likely to see their creative works flagged as AI-generated in the current market, especially when Medium and its hosted publications have adopted an assumption-based policy on generative AI, boldly stating that if they (humans) encountered writing they believe is AI-generated but not disclosed, they wouldn’t distribute it across the network or, for publications, publish it.
Such a statement reeks of unconscious bias and can be harmful to genuine human writers whose writing style has been copied by AI through machine learning. As you’re reading this, the internet is already saturated with AI-generated blog posts, articles, and apparently even books that are published by both native and adoptive English speakers.
AI is not only changing the way we all read and write, but it's also affecting how writers feel about writing and how readers feel about non-native English-speaking writers. From creative anxiety to unconscious bias, it can be hard to know how to deal with anything AI-generated, so let's discuss some tips and tools that can help with that.
Here are 3 things you can do that can help you overcome AI-generated creative anxiety:
This is probably the hardest thing to do and it’s a lesson I learned the hard way because reading online can be addictive, especially when you are a curious person like me.
It’s important to know that reading certain types of content will hurt your creative process even if it looks like research because more often than not, when you read articles online, especially the ones written by people in your industry, all you’ll end up seeing is that the world is on fire and that there’s nothing good going on in the industry.
Feeling as though the world is on fire after reading about ChatGPT and its destiny to replace (some) writers was the reason I struggled to write new content for a while because it felt like I would be adding fuel to that fire. This happened because the content was actually harmful. And if you feel the same, chances are you’ve tried to avoid writing altogether or to feel less anxious about writing.
Even if you haven’t tried anything yet, I have a method for making sure I don’t end up reading harmful content online, which is what I’m going to share in my next point, although it may not work for you, so take my advice with a grain of salt.
If you’re a writer, just write and stop caring about bad news or looking for proof that a doomsday is coming because no one is really in control of what’s going to happen.
People consume content for various reasons: some want to feel something, others want to escape reality, and others are curious and like to know everything. I create my content for the first category. I am curious myself, but oftentimes following my curiosity leads to information overload, which, in part, causes my anxiety.
I’m still trying to convey positive emotions through my writing, and that can only happen if I have positive emotions while writing. I concluded I should probably stop consuming other people’s content and write in a bubble with little to no interactions with outside forces. If you feel anxious all the time, then this is worth considering.
As I found myself under the pressure to read every blog or article that popped up in my push notifications, I realised I wasn’t in control of what I read. To be honest, having no control over things is why some of us become anxious, so it makes sense that regaining some of that control could be the cure.
This is a wake-up call to limit how much content you consume passively and instead to become intentional about what you read.
Part of regaining control for me involved turning off push notifications so I would no longer see reading recommendations. The other part involved creating a system that works for me, which you can also imitate by doing three simple things:
If what you read online about ChatGPT has left you feeling inadequate, insecure, uncertain about the future, or just plain sad as a multilingual writer, there is no reason to let that stop you from doing what you love.
You can choose if, how, and when you consume content online. Plus, you can write the content you want to read and publish it, all while avoiding harmful content like the plague by putting in place a content curation system that works; it’s the best way to fight against content-induced creative anxiety.
And for those who believe that AI can truly generate anything besides what a human has already created, there are much more effective ways than belief to determine whether an article or story was AI-generated such as using an AI detector and plagiarism checker like Originality.AI.
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Priscille B. Fatuma is a content creator, writer, editor, and marketer. She specializes in B2B content marketing with a focus on topics related to publishing, health/wellness, and digital marketing. She can be found musing on Twitter @PriscyFat, and making sense on LinkedIn at https://linkedin.com/in/priscille-b-fatuma