Alice Meets the Red Queen, John Tenniel illustration


The Red Queen offers advice to Alice, who finds herself running intensely, but not actually moving forward: “Now, here, you see,” says the Red Queen, “it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”

― Lewis Carroll, Alice Through The Looking Glass (Goodreads image and quotation)

Life moves at a mad pace, even madder if you want to “keep up,” whatever that means. Can you relate to Alice? My blogging friend Linda Hoye refers to the glut of data we deal with daily as a “firehose” of information. Whether you are a writer or not, the times push you to adapt to innovation:

  • Changing technologies
  • New marketing methods
  • Demands on our time

And authors have more questions: How does AI affect me? Do Facebook and Amazon ads really work? Should I invest in a publicist? How do algorithms on social media operate? What about podcasting? If you write a blog, should you switch from WordPress to Substack, apparently the latest big, new thing?

Many of us wonder how to stay relevant, how to keep up with our changing times. Some of you have tried cutting-edge solutions:

  1. Expanding your reach on YouTube.
  2. Switching from WordPress to Substack
  3. Integrating AI into your writing

Substack, a subscription newsletter similar to WordPress, seems to be the latest innovation for bloggers and other creators. But there is a caveat because apparently authors “rent” from that service. They do not directly own their content. According to an article on AudiencePlus, there is a gamble of building on rented land and explains, “Platform risk is the exposure of any individual or business to communication suppression when distribution is managed by a third-party service provider. These channels are ‘rented’ spaces, meaning a brand’s relationship with its audience is indirect and rented, rather than direct or owned.” Another voice, Fuzz Martin echoes this opinion.


Another Hot-Button Topic — AI, Artificial Intelligence

AI has been a feature of technology since the 1950s but has recently become controversial because of how it may impinge on human creativity and integrity. Like me, you’ve probably been using AI for a while now. Last week, I used my GPS to guide my car to a writers’ group in Ponte Vedra, Florida. I can use Siri or Alexa to get quick answers or smooth music. And AI app identifies birds and flowers.

I’ve been getting invitations on LinkedIn to use AI in my writing. (I didn’t bite.)


Did I say Hot Button?

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld sounded off during his Duke University commencement address in late May.

YouTube Image May 2024

He has a bone to pick with Artificial Intelligence

“AI is the most embarrassing thing we’ve invented during man’s timeline on earth,” said Seinfeld. “This seems to be the justification for AI: ‘I couldn’t do it.” He went on to joke that ChatGPT’s slogan should be the opposite of Nike’s: “You just can’t do it.”

Seinfeld’s remarks probably resonated uncomfortably with a group of college students who witnessed the rise of ChatGPT during their studies, and the temptation to use it for homework. Seinfeld, though, puts the question in encouraging terms: you can do the heavy lifting of critical thinking, imagination, and connection. You don’t have to outsource those things to a computer.


An Opposing Viewpoint

Taylor Borden, an editor at LinkedIn proclaims the message:

AI usage is accelerating in the workplace, according to MicroSoft and other sources. She seems to view this trend as a good thing. You can read her article here.


My Own Experiment with AI

I asked Artificial Intelligence to generate an image for me: Show me an illustration of the Red Queen writing a blog post.This is what ensued:

First, I had to create an account with Bing MicroSoft Creations

This was not too hard to do after I figured out what the arrows actually do.

Still, the software people were not satisfied that I was really human, so they asked me to manipulate a series of images with fuzzy backgrounds. Now I know “To err is human,” but these people were still not satisfied until they put me through 4-5 more paces. Finally, I was IN! I could officially confirm, “show me an illustration of the Red Queen writing a blog post.”

After more than a half hour, Behold!

I like red. In fact, red is my favorite color, but, wow, this is intense.

Thanks, Pam Wight, who inspired me to be brave and try out AI via Bing Co-Pilot Design, as she illustrated with cartoon images on luggage titled “Baggage Magic” on her own blog post recently.


Credit: Analogy of Alice and the Red Queen adapted from April 2024 newsletter, FWA, Florida Writers Association, Vic DiGenti editor


How about you? Have you used AI or some other technology in your writing?

What is your take on recent developments in technology?

Are you a turtle or hare when it comes to adopting the new as shown on this image from the New York Times?