“I’m Not There Yet” | Mind Matters

Scott Galloway is one of the most successful writers on the planet, at least by monetary metrics. He’s also a remarkably talented presenter and appears consistently on top channels to talk about business, masculinity, finance, and relationships.

In a new interview with David Perell, who founded the writing organization “Write of Passage,” Galloway said that he thinks he’s a “good writer” but not a “great” one yet. It might surprise us given that Galloway is around sixty and is a successful author, but he went on to explain how practice is key when reaching any type of mastery of a skill. Writing is no different. He described his recent encounter with a Stephen King novel, admiring the vividness of the prose, and admitted that it made him a little “bummed” and feeling like he could never attain that level of skill as a writer.

“The great writers persevere. They still move people,” he said. “I’m not there yet. And I don’t know how else to do it other than practice and also reading other great works.”

This is something that’s totally missing when people use AI tools like ChatGPT to “write” for them. It removes the burden of practice, which also means it removes the process by which writers become really good at what they do.

Galloway also mentioned how AI systems guess word associations, but the mark of a creative writer involves a sort of chemistry of wordplay that’s so intuitive, unique, and fresh that it continually surprises the reader. Introducing new metaphors, new ways of turning a simple phrase, and doing the hard work of putting words down on a page simply takes practice.

In a recent conversation, an academic friend of mine said he has never used the large language model and never will. “I want the writing to be mine,” he said. Galloway is getting at an old truth that the really worthwhile things in life tend to be difficult, like writing. We may be foregoing something essential if we continue offloading more of our cognitive burdens to the machine. Practice, practice, practice. It’s what makes a good writer, and the rule applies to character development, too. We become what we practice and the habits we develop. AI can’t serve as a replacement for classic hard work, and it definitely can’t offer a shortcut to virtue formation.

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