George’s October Newsletter

Hello Writing Friends,

We live in a world that is increasingly driven – even dominated – by technology. I suspect that many of your recognize this when you compare the sale of digital versions of your book with the sale of your printed books. A sale is a sale, but numbers do matter.

For those of you still in a day-job workplace, you like hear the term “data-driven decisions” a great deal. I know I do, but then again, I work with scientists and engineers. All that said, we do live in a highly technical world, and that often makes us turn to data as the king of the hill. It isn’t. Here’s how Michael Lewis put it in The Undoing Project, “No one ever made a decision based on a number. They need a story.”

Most (likely all) of us have had mentors who have helped us along in our writing journey. For me, it was – and remains – Dick Couch. In an article he wrote years ago, Dick captured the essence of why all of us write. What he said sticks with me today, and I want to share it with you:

For me, I gotta write, and it’s the adventure of it that’s hooked me. As the writer, I can do it all. I get to be the National Security Advisor who recommends the action to the President who must commit the forces. I’m the senior officer who sends his men into action and who feels the pain if they don’t make it back. I’m the enemy and the defender; logistician and staff planner. But most of all, I’m a young man again, that fresh lieutenant who must lead his men into battle.

Some men [and women] want to die with their boots on. When I cash in my chips, I want to be slumped over the keyboard. And they can plant me with my word processor. I may wake up and want to write about it.

When you think about it, isn’t this why most of us write? When I asked a writing friend about her writing “process” here’s what she told me: “I get up at 4am every day and talk to my imaginary friends.”

I suspect that all of you have absorbed the avalanche of information about AI-powered technologies such as ChatGPT, Bard and Bing that can write an article, an academic paper or even an entire book. We all likely have our own opinions (and probably strong opinions) on the impact of this on our own writing.

To that end, I discovered a book, Writing in The Age of AI: What You Need to Know to Survive and Thrive, by David Poyer. It was a good read and you may find it helpful as well. For me, it stripped away a great deal of the hype regarding tools like ChatGPT and its successors and suggested ways to use these tools and helpers.

There is a human condition called “Need to share.” Most of us have it. Whenever I find an article online or in print that I find useful in upping my writing game, I put it on my website: If you go to the site you’ll see “Blog” at the top and the pull down menu takes you to “Writing Tips.” Perhaps you’ll find some of these useful.

Thanks for tuning in. I’d love to hear about your latest writing project(s).