Computers aren't the thing. They're the thing that gets us to the thing.
– Halt and Catch Fire
What is Writehacks?
Writehacks explores how to combine classical writing techniques to ChatGPT and GPT-3. The goal is to find tips, tricks and hacks to make AI writing more creative and less generic.
It's also about learning how to use these tools directly, so you don't have to pay a $50/month software subscription to some flashy startup.
Who is Writehacks for?
Professional writers, copywriters, marketers, content creators, content producers, designers, bloggers, analysts, UX writers, content designers, product managers...basically anyone who uses words for a living
Who are you?
My name is: Valentine (call me Val!)
My job is: Lead Content Designer at Canva.
My origin story was: A Masters degree in Shakespeare and print culture.
The Writehacks manifesto (of sorts)
I’ve spent the last decade witnessing words get transformed by technology breakthroughs. It's clear generative AI is the next big thing.
It’s still early days. The tech’s not perfect. If left to its own devices, it regresses to mediocrity, inaccuracy, bias, blandness and – more often than not – outright lies.
But it will get better. And when it does, I’d rather not abstract all of this away to gatekeepers. Especially the ones charging a pricey software subscription fee.
I think we should learn the ins and outs of GPT-3, ChatGPT, and all its future successors, directly. This knowledge should then become a new skill. One that's actionable, transferable and valuable.
It's the next generation of structuring content for the machines. It's SEO 2.0.
I'm not the first one to come up with this idea. Prompt engineering has proliferated every part of social media, complete with hard-to-read screenshots of outputs from ChatGPT or GPT-3 Playground.
So what's my other angle?
AI writing and rhetoric walk into a bar
One of my pet theories is this: the prompts, recipes, formulas, magic spells, whatever you want to call the bits of writing that currently power AI writing systems – will all respond really well to the use of rhetoric and other traditional writing techniques.
Rhetoric, also known as rhetorical or literary devices, is kind of a lost art these days.
You probably know of the famous ones, like alliteration or rhyme.
But there's a whole universe of them out there; little tips, tricks and formulas of language that even Shakespeare relied on heavily.
(Do yourself a favour and read The Elements of Eloquence by Mark Forsyth. He's the 🐐 of bringing rhetoric to the masses)
Learning about rhetoric not only improves your writing skills 10x, it boosts your analysis of other people's writing, whether a poem, poster, or pop song, and – here's where Writehacks comes in – should boost the output of AI writing.
So that's what I'm going to focus on initially. Come watch!
Is Writehacks free?
Yeah. I want the core of Writehacks to be completely free. At most, you'll pay a few bucks a month to OpenAI to use their Playground once your GPT-3 trial expires (and ChatGPT presumably once they stop burning piles of money offering it for free).
There may be some bonus stuff I’ll charge for, but until then if you find this site valuable I'd love it if you could Buy me a coffee ☕️
Why the name 'Writehacks'?
Because the .com was available. And also because being a 'hack writer' is a hilarious pun.