Dear ChatGPT, where should I go?
If I wanted a list of places I could possibly visit, I could Google. Or, now I guess, ask ChatGPT.
I often do this, actually, and end up with dozens of open tabs and no decision.
I get overwhelmed with the amount of options shoved in my face but no way to make a decision.
That mental overload causes the kind of mini-meltdown I wouldn’t even want my cats to witness. (They’ve seen things, man.)
When I’m trying to decide where to go — a holiday or a day trip or a meal out — I don’t want a long list of destinations thrown out by an algorithm, or the too-much-information factsheets vomited up by an AI.
I want a reason to choose this over that.
I want depth, stories, and human experience.
So do most of us, even if we can’t always recognise that or consciously articulate it.
And even more than that, we want someone to help us make a decision.
The other day, James Clear posted this on Twitter:
I want to go somewhere where:
- I can stay directly on the beach (no crossing roads, straight onto the sand)
- I can walk to 10+ great restaurants (don’t care about fancy, just great food)
- Is relaxing and quiet (minimal road noise, etc.)
Needs all 3. Where should I go?
Of course he got some great suggestions from people…
But he also got a LOT (I mean, dozens if not hundreds) of replies saying something along the lines of:
“Why don’t you just ask ChatGPT?”
And it got me thinking about why he asked Twitter. Because ChatGPT certainly would return a bunch of destinations for him to consider, and they’d probably be pretty good in terms of his three requirements.
If JC had wanted regurgitated Google results or travel brochures or a long list of possible destinations, I’m sure he’d have asked the AI.
But he didn’t.
He asked real people.
(Well, so far as people are real on Twitter, anyway.)
He wanted people’s take on the places they’re suggesting.
He wanted help to make his decision.
The implication is if someone is suggesting a place to visit, they loved it for some reason — otherwise why mention it at all?
One person suggested Tulum, and included pictures of himself having a whale of time while he was there.
Another shared a story of when he and his family spent a month in Maui during lockdown — the best experience of his life.
A third suggested the Scottish coast (bravely, in the midst of so many tropical paradise suggestions).
And the ChatGPT suggesters entirely missed the point.
There’s a reason we value conversations with actual people: we get a little slice of someone’s life; a little emotional jolt; a reason to choose this destination over that one.
Same applies to books: you might wonder, why would someone choose to read my book when they could just find the information they want on the internet? Or, now, AI?
For the same reason James Clear asked Twitter to help him find a holiday destination: they want your take on it. Your opinion.
They want the chance to share a little slice of who you are and what you care about — and maybe join you on your journey for a while.
This is why books matter. It’s why your story and your message and your ideas matter. It’s not just bare facts; it’s connection.
It’s why I do what I do: help people write books that matter to them, because if your idea matters to you, it’ll matter to others, too.
And more than that, it’ll connect you to them, across time and space.
Your book won’t just be a regurgitated list of facts vomited up by AI; it’ll be part of you.
But if you’re going to get your book out there, first you need to get started.
And I have just the thing: my “start your book” template bundle.
Far from being a “book blueprint”, these templates contain thoughtful questions and frameworks to pull your ideas out of your head, and get them down on paper.
They get you to dig into your why, your story, your magic — and give you a solid place to start writing.