In the first episode of my podcast I said that I do morning pages to train myself to write on demand, and then I followed that up in Episode 3 where I explained that I use the momentum from morning pages to write a first draft of something.
While doing my morning pages last week I thought about how doing them is kind of like how ChatGPT generates text. It’s just statistically picking the next word based on all the words so far in the prompt and what it has already generated.
I am also doing something like that In my morning pages. I am writing writing writing and I use the words so far to guide my next ones.
My mind strays as I write and a phrase might trigger a new thread, which I follow for a bit and then follow another and another. ChatGPT’s results are a lot more coherent than my morning pages. It has an uncanny ability to stay on topic because it is considering all of the text, and I don’t.
First drafts are different. When I switch to writing a first draft, I do consider the entire text. I’m not as fast, because I am constantly looking at where I am so far. I also start with a a prompt in the form of a simple message that I hope to convey, which I use as the working title.
I know I could get a first draft faster from ChatGPT, but it would not be as good (I think), or at least not specific to me. More importantly, I would not have improved as a writer.
[NOTE: While writing a draft of this post, I thought of a way to make my morning pages more directed and made a podcast about it]