ChatGPT Teaches Writing: Common Challenges in Using ChatGPT for Writing and How to Overcome Them

A Course on Using AI to Write — LESSON 8

Teodora Pirciu
12 min readFeb 15, 2023

ICYMI: LESSON 4 — Writing the First Draft with ChatGPT's Help

LESSON 5 — Proofreading and Editing Your Writing Using ChatGPT

LESSON 6 — Enhancing Your Writing with Advanced ChatGPT Features

LESSON 7 — Publishing and Promoting Your Writing Using ChatGPT

Identify and address some of the most common challenges that writers face when using ChatGPT

Welcome to today's lesson on 'Common Challenges in Using ChatGPT for Writing and How to Overcome Them.' This lesson will give you the tools and knowledge you need to make the most of this powerful writing tool.

So let's dive in!

Lack of control

Achieve greater control over what ChatGPT produces and use it as a powerful tool for writing projects

Using a machine learning model to generate text can be both exciting and frustrating at the same time. Since the model generates text based on patterns it has learned from a vast corpus of text, it can sometimes produce output that is not what the writer intended or expected.

Here are a few strategies that can help to overcome the lack of control that can come with using ChatGPT for writing:

Use prompt engineering

Craft your prompts to steer the model toward producing the desired output. For example, you can add specific keywords or phrases to your prompt that signal what you want it to focus on to the model.

Here are some prompt engineering best practices that a writer can use to gain more control over what ChatGPT produces:

🚀 When crafting your prompt, be as specific and concise as possible. Use clear and precise language, and avoid overly broad or vague terms.

🚀 Incorporate relevant background information or reference previous text parts to help the model understand what you're trying to convey.

🚀 Don't be afraid to experiment with different prompts and see what works best for your specific use case. Try using different sentence structures, word choices, or formatting to see how it affects the model's output. With each iteration, you'll better understand what works and what doesn't, and you'll be able to fine-tune your prompts accordingly.

🚀 If you're writing in a specific field or industry, use the appropriate language and terminology commonly used in that field.

🚀 If you're working with a longer prompt, consider breaking it into smaller, more manageable pieces. This can help you identify specific areas that may need more attention or fine-tuning and can also help you avoid overwhelming the model with too much information at once.

🚀 If you've already generated some output from ChatGPT, consider using that output as a guide for crafting your prompts. Look for patterns or keywords to which the model seems to respond and incorporate them into your prompts.

🚀 Use a mix of open-ended and directed prompts. While directed prompts can help steer the model toward specific topics or themes, open-ended prompts can also be valuable for encouraging more creative and unexpected output.

🚀 If you're not getting the desired output from ChatGPT, don't be afraid to make multiple attempts and refine your prompts as you go.

🚀 Consider using human editing and feedback to refine and polish your output and ensure that it meets your standards and goals.

Use the "stop" token

The "stop" token is a unique character that you can add to the end of your prompt, which signals the model to stop generating text once it reaches that point. This can be especially useful when you're working with longer prompts or want to control the length of the output.

Here are a few tips for using the "stop" token effectively:

  1. Use it sparingly. While the "stop" token can be a powerful tool for controlling the length of the output, it's important not to overuse it. Using it too frequently or in the wrong places can lead to unnatural-sounding results.
  2. Experiment with different placements. Depending on your prompt and goals, you may need to experiment with different placements of the "stop" token to achieve the desired results. Try adding it in various places within the prompt to see how it affects the output.
  3. Be aware of the model's tendencies. ChatGPT tends to generate more extended outputs, so keep that in mind when using the "stop" token. If you want a concise output, you may need to set a low maximum length or use the "stop" token strategically.
Here's an example of a prompt that uses the "stop" token

The "stop" token can be any unique phrase or sequence of characters you choose to signal to ChatGPT to stop generating text. Ensure that the phrase is unique and doesn't occur elsewhere in the input data or the resulting output.

Use pre-processing techniques

One way to gain more control over the input to ChatGPT is to use pre-processing techniques, such as text cleaning or formatting, to ensure that the input data is structured and consistent. This can reduce noise in the data and improve the quality of the resulting output.

Adjust model parameters

ChatGPT has several hyperparameters and settings that can be adjusted to fine-tune its output. Experimenting with these parameters can achieve better results and give you more control over the output.

Adjusting model parameters for ChatGPT typically requires some programming and machine learning knowledge. Still, some tools and resources available can help you make adjustments even if you don't have a background in these areas.

One option is to use a pre-trained model that has already been fine-tuned for specific use cases or domains, such as writing or content creation. These models may have parameters and settings optimized for generating high-quality text in those areas without requiring any additional adjustment on your part.

The GPT-3 Playground is a user-friendly web interface for generating text using OpenAI’s GPT-3 model. The interface allows you to adjust various parameters and settings, such as the “temperature” of the output or the “maximum length” of the generated text, using simple sliders and drop-down menus.

Additionally, many online resources provide guidance and tutorials on adjusting model parameters for machine learning models like ChatGPT, which can be helpful for new users. By following these guides, you can learn how to fine-tune the model parameters and achieve better results for your writing projects without needing a deep background in programming or machine learning.

Use conditional training

Conditional training involves fine-tuning the model on specific prompts or topics, which can improve the quality and relevance of the output. This can be especially useful for writers with specific goals.

One option is to use pre-built templates or examples that provide a starting point for conditional training. Some tools or libraries, such as Hugging Face Transformers, provide pre-built examples and tutorials for conditional training with ChatGPT, which you can use as a starting point and modify to fit your specific use case.

Another option is to use a no-code platform that provides a graphical user interface (GUI) for building machine learning models, such as Google's AutoML or IBM Watson Studio. These platforms allow you to define your input data and desired output. The platform will automatically build and train a model for you without requiring coding or technical knowledge.

Finally, consider hiring a developer or data scientist to help you with the technical aspects of conditional training. This would involve finding a skilled professional to help you define your problem and data, build and train the model, and deploy it for your use case.

Use post-processing techniques

Once you have generated output from ChatGPT, you can use post-processing techniques to edit the text. This can include:

  • Language Translation. ChatGPT can translate text from one language to another by training the model on a bilingual text corpus.
  • Sentiment Analysis. ChatGPT can be used to analyze the sentiment of a piece of text by training the model to classify text as positive, negative, or neutral. This can be useful for businesses or organizations that analyze customer feedback or social media posts.
  • Question Answering. ChatGPT can be used to answer questions posed in natural language by training the model on a corpus of text that includes questions and their corresponding answers. This can be useful for educational or information-based applications, such as search engines or chatbots.
  • Text Summarization. ChatGPT can summarize long documents or articles by training the model to identify the most critical information and generate a summary in natural language. This can be useful for applications such as news aggregation or research.


Evaluate the accuracy of ChatGPT in the specific context of the task or application it is being used for

In general, ChatGPT has shown to be quite effective at generating coherent and contextually relevant text, and it has achieved state-of-the-art performance on several language modeling benchmarks. However, it could be better. In some cases, it can still produce inaccurate or nonsensical text, mainly when it generates text on tasks that differ significantly from the types of text it was trained on.

Here are some strategies for improving the accuracy of ChatGPT's output:

Use a larger prompt

By providing more context and information to the model, it may be better able to understand the intended meaning of the prompt and generate more accurate text in response. In general, longer prompts produce more precise results than shorter ones.

The optimal prompt size for ChatGPT will depend on various factors, including the task's complexity, the training data's size, and the specific version of the model used. Some assignments may require longer prompts to provide enough context for the model to understand the intended meaning of the prompt. At the same time, others may require shorter prompts to avoid overwhelming the model with too much information.

As a general rule, it is a good idea to experiment with different prompt sizes to find the one that works best for your specific use case. You can start with a relatively short prompt and gradually increase its length until you find the optimal balance between providing enough context for the model and avoiding overwhelming it with too much information.

At a minimum, a prompt should include a clear and specific question or statement that defines the task or topic you want the model to generate text about. It should also provide relevant background information or context the model needs to understand the prompt.

For example, you want to use ChatGPT to generate a paragraph about the history of the Roman Empire. In that case, a good prompt might be: "Please write a paragraph about the history of the Roman Empire, including its founding, major accomplishments, and eventual decline."

Use a different model or version of ChatGPT

Many different models and versions of ChatGPT are available, each with different strengths and weaknesses. You can find one better suited to your specific use case by experimenting with different models and versions.

Fine-tune the model

This involves training the model on a custom dataset specific to your use case, which can help it learn to generate more accurate and relevant text in response to particular prompts.

Fine-tuning the ChatGPT model typically requires some level of coding skills. You will need to be familiar with programming languages such as Python and frameworks like PyTorch or TensorFlow, commonly used to implement and train deep learning models.

However, some user-friendly tools and platforms now allow users to fine-tune the ChatGPT model without requiring extensive coding skills. These platforms offer pre-built pipelines and interfaces that simplify the fine-tuning process, allowing users to fine-tune the model on their specific tasks and data with just a few clicks. For example, Hugging Face's Transformers library provides easy-to-use tools for fine-tuning GPT models with just a few lines of code, while AI Dungeon offers a web-based interface for generating text with a fine-tuned GPT model.

While these platforms can make fine-tuning the ChatGPT model more accessible to users without extensive coding skills, it's still important to understand the underlying concepts and techniques to ensure you achieve the desired results.


Building confidence in your writing abilities is a process that takes time and effort

It is not uncommon for writers to become overly dependent on ChatGPT or other automated writing tools and lose confidence in their own writing abilities. This can happen for several reasons, such as relying too heavily on the tool to generate ideas or content, becoming too accustomed to the tool's writing style, or feeling overwhelmed or intimidated by the sheer volume of text that AI can produce.

To build confidence in your own writing abilities and avoid becoming too dependent on ChatGPT, here are some strategies you can try:

Practice writing regularly

Writing is a skill that can be developed with practice, so set aside time to write every day, even if it's just for a few minutes. This will help you build your writing muscles and become more comfortable expressing your own ideas and voice.

If you need help getting started, try setting a small goal. This could be writing just a few sentences or jotting down a quick idea or thought. Once you get started, it's often easier to keep going.

If you're stuck, try writing prompts to express your creativity. There are many websites and resources available that offer writing prompts on a variety of topics.

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you miss a writing session or your writing doesn’t turn out the way you hoped. Be kind to yourself, and focus on making progress over time.

Experiment with different writing styles

Use ChatGPT as a tool for inspiration, but also take the time to explore different writing styles and techniques on your own. Try writing in various genres, using different tones or perspectives, or experimenting with different sentence structures and word choices.

One way to use ChatGPT to experiment with writing styles is to provide the model with prompts that use specific styles or techniques. For example, if you want to write a horror story, you could provide ChatGPT with a prompt that sets the tone and establishes the genre. Then, use the output as a starting point to develop your story.

Another way to use ChatGPT to experiment with writing styles is to study its output. By examining the text's language, syntax, and structure, you can identify the elements that create a particular style or tone. You can use this knowledge to incorporate those elements into your writing.

Seek feedback and constructive criticism

Share your writing with others and ask for feedback and constructive criticism. This can help you identify improvement areas and build confidence in your writing abilities.

Take breaks and recharge

Writing can be mentally and emotionally taxing, so take breaks and recharge when needed. This can help you avoid burnout and stay motivated.

Lack of creativity

Chat GPT can still be a valuable tool for enhancing your own creative output

ChatGPT is a machine learning model, and as such, it can sometimes produce text that lacks originality or creativity. However, there are several strategies you can use to use ChatGPT to enhance your creativity:

Use ChatGPT as a starting point

Instead of relying solely on the output of ChatGPT, use it as a starting point for your writing. You can take the text generated by ChatGPT and add your own original ideas and creative flair.

This will help ensure that the writing is both informative and engaging. Ultimately, the key is using AI-generated content to support your ideas and goals rather than letting it dominate the writing.

It’s important to strike a balance between AI-generated content and personal opinions. Too much reliance on AI-generated content can make the writing feel impersonal and lacking in originality.

Use random prompts

Sometimes, a completely random prompt can help you generate more creative output. Try using a random word or phrase as a prompt and see where ChatGPT takes you.

Play with the parameters

ChatGPT has many parameters that can be adjusted, such as temperature and sampling strategy. Experimenting with these parameters can produce unexpected and creative results.

Collaborate with ChatGPT

Think of ChatGPT as a writing partner. Use it to generate ideas and work together to flesh out those ideas and create something unique.

Instead of relying on ChatGPT to generate complete text, use it to create prompts for your writing. You can take the prompts generated by ChatGPT and use them as inspiration for your creative writing.


ChatGPT is a powerful tool that can help writers overcome various challenges, including writer's block or lack of creativity. However, like any tool, it is important to use ChatGPT effectively and in a way that supports your writing goals and personal style.

By using strategies such as prompt engineering, adjusting model parameters, and experimenting with different models and versions of ChatGPT, writers can improve the accuracy and originality of the content generated by the tool.

It's also important to balance AI-generated content with your personal opinions and creativity to ensure that the final writing product is engaging and reflects your unique voice. By following these best practices, writers can take full advantage of the capabilities of ChatGPT to improve their writing and overcome common challenges.

Stay tuned for our next lesson, "Advanced tips and tricks for using ChatGPT effectively."



Teodora Pirciu

Writer, mother, journalist, content marketer, day-dreamer, chocolate lover, freelancer. Not necessarily in this order.