6 Writing Skills That Can Give
You an Edge Over ChatGPT

See also: Common Mistakes in Writing

ChatGPT is a powerful AI writing tool that is taking the business world by storm. This has left many people worried that their writing profession will be threatened by this new software.

ChatGPT definitely has the capability to upend some well-established careers. However, that doesn't mean that human writing has been knocked out of the race or even downplayed.

Here are six key skills that you can build to give you an edge over AI tools when it comes to writing content.

ChatGPT screenshot early 2023.

1. Understand ChatGPT’s Weaknesses

ChatGPT is a powerful piece of technology, and it is definitely capable of handling a wide range of writing, mathematical, and programming tasks. However, it does have some serious limitations that you can take advantage of.

The current version of ChatGPT struggles when it comes to long form writing. After a certain length, ChatGPT starts to become very redundant and repetitive.

On a related note, ChatGPT also struggles with complex writing tasks. It's much better suited to singular questions with a very narrow focus.

ChatGPT also struggles when it comes to understanding emotional contacts such as sarcasm and humor.

One well documented limitation of ChatGPT is that it has some inbuilt biases. It was programmed by humans using human writing samples. This means it has the unfortunate side effect of uncritically reproducing any biases it's absorbed.

ChatGPT also currently only has information up to 2021. Anything after that date is simply not included in its database.

2. Long-form Planning

Now that you understand some of the inherent limitations of ChatGPT, you can start building your writing skills by focusing on one of its major weaknesses: long form writing.

Any writing that lasts longer than a few hundred words is something that ChatGPT just can't do in its current form. This includes long-term planning, lengthy reports, and complicated pieces of writing that your company needs.

Being able to demonstrate that you have long form writing skills is something that employers are going to be increasingly looking for as ChatGPT becomes more widely used.

Even if you don't currently have any long form writing samples, you can still make one. Consider writing some sample long form writing that you can show to your current employer when looking for a promotion or to future employers when you're applying for a new job.

3. Writing with Information Outside of ChatGPT

Notebook, pen and laptop.

ChatGPT might seem like it knows everything, but it's actually extremely limited and easily outpaced by any human intellect.

There are plenty of sources of information that are outside of the scope of what ChatGPT can write about. In fact, there are many sources of information that will likely never be included inside of an AI writing tool.

The first thing that you need to know is that ChatGPT is limited to any writing from 2021 and earlier. With that said, it's actually much more limited as ChatGPT cannot access any writing that has not been put online.

This means information about team members, notes from recent work meetings, and real-world information that doesn't make it to the internet.

Demonstrating that you can engage with sources of information outside of ChatGPT can help put your writing ahead of AI writing tools.

4. Get Good at Day-to-day Writing

Another area where ChatGPT is going to lag behind is in general day-to-day writing.

It's just not practical to use an AI writing tool like ChatGPT to handle daily writing like emails, memos, and notes from meetings. The output of an AI software is impersonal and depends greatly on the prompt, so that short written correspondences seem “off” when using it.

This gives you a great place to flex your writing skills and demonstrate that you can stay ahead of ChatGPT.

Day-to-day writing might seem like it's not very important, but this is actually the writing that every workplace relies on the most. Being able to effectively communicate through your writing cannot only put you ahead of ChatGPT but can also put you ahead when it comes to your career.

5. Build Your Knowledge Base

ChatGPT has an impressive knowledge base, but you can access information far beyond what this app is capable of.

Your workplace likely has an internal wiki that contains everything from best practices documents to the information that your company needs in order to run effectively. This is a body of information that is outside of the scope of ChatGPT, but it's something that you should focus on specifically.

If your company doesn't have an internal knowledge base, then you can handle the great opportunity to stay ahead of an AI writing app.

Reading a quick and practical guide to internal knowledge bases can help you set one up for your business. Being able to build effective internal knowledge bases allows your skills to shine well giving you a demonstrable outcome that you can show when it comes time to highlight your particular skills.

6. Write Human

Writing with a fountain pen.

If there's one thing that ChatGPT certainly can't do, it's write like a human.

If you really want your writing to take the edge over ChatGPT, you should focus on the human element.

Writing with emotion, being able to understand humor, and picking up on all of those subtle cues that ChatGPT misses will make sure that your writing always stays ahead of what an AI app is capable of.

This skill is about reading as much as it is about writing. Being able to pick up the tone that someone else is speaking with through their writing is a key skill in the workplace.

Getting the Edge Over ChatGPT

You've now got six practical skills that you can focus on building that will make sure that you have an edge over how ChatGPT writes.

Remember, at the end of the day ChatGPT can only replicate human writing styles. As advanced as this piece of software is, it's not capable of writing outside of the box that's its been programmed in.