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  • Writer's pictureDr. Tullio Rossi

Unveiling My Secret Weapon: How I use AI to Crush Writer's Block Ethically

Let’s face it: writing can be a daunting task, especially when English is not your first language like in my case. My journey to being able to express myself better started with a rather harsh critique from a school teacher regarding my essays. Her words stuck, making the act of writing seem like an insurmountable mountain for most of my life.

However, I have stumbled upon a new method that not only helps me overcome writer's block but also significantly improves my English.

Here's a step-by-step rundown of my strategy, which I hope you’ll find as transformative as I did! 🚀

AI powered writing process: mindmapping, transcription, editing

1. Mapping My Mind: The First Step to Clarity

I start with mind mapping my idea using software. (I prefer using Mindnode (free plan, Mac only), but the choice is abundant out there!). This visual mapping helps in finding structure in my thoughts, allowing me to see the bigger picture and rearrange ideas as needed.

Being a visual person, this step is akin to making a sketch of a house yet to be built.

Mind mapping helps in finding structure in my thoughts.

Mind map example

2. Speaking My Mind: AI Writing & Transcription

Next up, I grab Otter (free plan), a transcription software powered by AI, and spill my thoughts out loud, as if explaining them to a friend. Sometimes I do this while looking at the mind map, sometimes while walking around.

No need to worry about perfect language; the goal is to get the ideas out of your head and into the digital world.

This step is liberating, like having a conversation with a great listener.

3. Transferring to ChatGPT: The AI Powered Polish

I then copy the transcript into ChatGPT and simply ask, “Please copy edit this transcript”

You can specify the target audience, ask to maintain the original tone, and even target a specific word count.

It’s like having a personal editor who understands you and molds your thoughts into well-crafted sentences.

4. Manual editing

ChatGPT typically takes me 80% there, so I go in and manually edit the piece until I am fully satisfied with it. This doesn’t take long because ChatGPT did the heavy lifting. Following this process easily saves me 1-3 hours depending on what I am writing. Not bad, hey?

Ownership & AI Assistance

I like this method because it keeps me in the driver’s seat; the ideas are wholly mine. ChatGPT merely helps in presenting them in a polished manner. In my opinion, this is an ethical use of AI as a writing aid, making the daunting task of writing less scary and more fun.

Think of it as having a ghostwriter on standby, ready to refine my draft 24/7.

Investing in Quality: Why I Opt for the Paid Plan

I use the paid plan of ChatGPT, and the difference in output quality is substantial with minimal hallucinations. It’s a small investment for a substantial return in terms of better, clearer, and more engaging writing. Trust me on this one, I tried both.

Wrapping up

This method has transformed my relationship with writing, making it an enjoyable venture rather than a dreaded task. And as someone whose English is a second language, this is nothing short of a revelation. The fusion of visual thinking, verbal expression, and AI-powered editing has been a game-changer. It’s like having an extended team working with me, for me, making sure my narrative shines through.

Your Turn: Sharing the Magic 🎩

Now that I have shared my magical strategy to tackle the hurdles of writing, I’m curious to know your thoughts. How do you use AI for writing? Or do you have other tricks up your sleeve to combat the fearsome writer's block?

BTW, I wrote this article following this exact method 😉


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