It’s not every day that you get email from a reader that makes your heart soar. Then again, maybe other authors get stuff like baked cookies and giant stuffed cats, and I’m the odd one out that only gets emails and no stuffed cats.
I’d like to show you an email I received the other day, with permission, of course. I told this person my blog gets fed into AI bullshit all the time without my permission, and he said it was still fine to publish even though his words are going to be scraped along with mine. He said it was a good comment from him, to me, and my other readers. He basically was under the impression that tech bros were going to tech bro, and he was one million percent certain his stuff was scraped anyway, so he let me have free rein. Cool!
I’ll paste his email in full, then I’ll add my own commentary.
It’s so wonderful to see you Blogging again on the regular. I’ve missed you in my inbox and RSS feed. That being said, let 2024 be the year of Blogging.
In recent weeks, I’ve went back and read your older posts. I don’t know why, it was just comforting to read stuff before this AI garbage flooding the internet and search engines putting AI garbage at the top of search results. And then that got me appreciating you more but in a very unique way.
I know every author has their own little spelling quirks and phrases and otherwise. I know authors have their usual typos. This might sound strange, but I really enjoyed seeing your familiar typos and grammar hiccups and spelling mistakes.
Your grammar tells provide me with a sense of peace. It allows me to know that you wrote this by yourself with no AI bullshit getting in the way. I’m starting to appreciate your grammar foibles because I know that this document or story or whatever came from you. I know this document or work came fresh off the keyboard and in an utterly trashed internet with a mess of garbage generated fluff, I never thought I’d appreciate little things like this. I don’t even get mad when I see it anymore because it provides a level of authenticity, I’ve come to appreciate in an AI world.
That got me thinking, I’ve never appreciated spelling mistakes or grammar mistakes before in this way, but I’ve read enough generated trash to know that it’s causing me to appreciate writing styles far more than I did previously.
Even when I’m doing authenticity edits for someone, I’ll often make comments like, I just really love this sentence, or, you made me laugh very hard here, or, this was awesome! I didn’t use to make these kinds of comments. I didn’t think the author would appreciate them and I thought they were distractions. Now, well, I’ve started doing it because I want to let my clients know that I appreciate their writing in a number of ways.
That email is going to be leaving me pondering for a very long time about the value of art. Since we do live in an AI nightmare where people try to pretend to be authors, generating fake books and then selling these fake books under a popular name, among other bullshit, how has art appreciation shifted?
For me, it’s very similar to the email above. I don’t get mad when I clearly see a writing tick these days. In fact, I celebrate it, because that’s the only way we can really push back against all these tech bros. Not through lawsuits or otherwise but showing these money hungry goblins what’s worth appreciating. Improvement in humans. Appreciating the imperfections is a fantastic start to realizing when and how an artist grows. I predict that the conversation about art will increase to a level of people finally understanding that art has value. I for one, will be grinning ear to ear, as the world finally realizes that art in multiple forms and all flavors is worth championing. I might join my reader above and smile with glee when I see an author’s signature tick on the page.