On Wednesday evening I walked with Mum and Nash around the Torrens after dinner. She was complaining about dealing with call centres and hard to understand people. I mentioned that AI and voice synthetization would probably replace those employees within a few years, and potentially my own job as well. After I extolled the benefits of generative AI some more she asked what I would do as a job if AI replaced my current one. I answered that I would pivot back to being an author and writing stories. I don't think AI will take over that for a while yet.
And yet... I finished the draft of my latest story a few months ago which gave me great satisfaction. And I workshopped it after making a return to writer's group where I also received good feedback to help improve it. All that is left for me to send this story to publishers for the small chance of it being published. And I have procrastinated that step more than any other in the process of writing it. Much of this procrastination time has been used to upskill myself in Generative AI.
Submitting stories is so hard because that's the point you lose control of them. And that's the point the feedback loop can stretch to such lengths that the whole hobby feels unfulfilling. Programming in React means you don't even need to refresh the page to see functionality changes. A short story can take months to get rejected. That means a thread is running in your brain for all that time. You can try to ignore it, but it's there.
But getting stories accepted is more fulfilling that pushing code or even running serverless function apps. You have to try and submit, even though rejection will come. And what better time to learn how to handle this fear, when AI is coming for our day jobs.
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The woman with the fake tan stepped into my office, sat across from my desk and lit a cigarette.
At least, she would, sometime in the next 20 minutes. Smelling the future has advantages, but precision isn’t one of them.