Laurence McCahill
The Happy Startup School
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6 min readMay 14, 2024


9 ways to embrace AI and stay creative

There are two letters that are everywhere at the moment: AI.

For some of us, it feels like an exciting new dawn of productivity.

If you’re a solopreneur it can help you be more impactful, more effective, and free up your time — whether that’s doing research, coming up with new ideas, or producing content.

But if you’re a conscious business owner, you might worry about what AI is doing to our humanity and our creativity.

And these two positions are not mutually exclusive.

Last month we were in conversation with Kerry Harrison, an AI educator and professional copywriter.

Kerry makes AI accessible.

She teaches practical ways to save time while adding your brilliant human creativity to the mix.

Drawing on two decades of copywriting work and five years of AI experience, she helps people create compelling, human content in less time. And probably like you, she’s torn between the idea of embracing the technology and running for the trees.

Read on to learn how to use it in a way that amplifies your impact and efficiency without losing your humanity.

Here are 9 takeaways from our conversation

1. Facing your fear can reveal a new pathway
Let’s be honest. While some of us are curious about AI, there are others who feel overwhelmed, confused, or downright anxious. Kerry’s journey has been no different. When she was faced with the threat of an AI tool outperforming her, she initially felt fear, too.

“Someone came in to talk to us about this AI tool called Phrasee, which could write email subject lines. And it said they would outperform humans 90 percent of the time. I just thought, ‘Oh my gosh, my career as a copywriter is over.’”

But rather than give up or run away, Kerry let it spark her curiosity and she’s still exploring it and educating others about AI five years later.

2. Support your creativity don’t replace it
Using an AI tool can be a great way to overcome a blank page. But we shouldn’t use it to fill it wholesale. Kerry’s guiding belief is to use AI to increase human creativity, not stand in its stead.

“I love it and my whole ethos is around using it to augment our amazing human creativity, so it’s a tool to use rather than something that’s going to replace it.”

By looking at AI this way, it’s more likely that we’ll create something that still remains uniquely ours — and uniquely human.

3. Forget fact-checking at your peril
AI has its own creativity, and sometimes it can be too creative. Rather than give you an accurate answer, it will give you the most likely answer instead. Generating factually incorrect information is known as “hallucination,” which means we need to sense-check and fact-check the output.

“I think it’s always really important to have a human in the mix. We should be sense-checking everything, looking at everything, and applying our own views of assessing or using our critical thinking. We have to be aware that, yes, there is bias inherent within AI tools. But we have to then look at what’s come out and make sure that we’re not perpetuating any of that through the output. That’s the only way I think we can work on it.”

4. The AI sandwich: Human-AI-Human
Another way to ensure that we’re still using the tool, rather than letting the tool use us, is to become more intentional before we’ve even sat down to use it. Kerry’s “AI sandwich” approach emphasises the importance of human input before and after using an AI tool.

“It’s this combination of ‘human, AI, and then human’ again. This is an ‘AI sandwich’, so that means before touching the tools, we come with an idea of what we want.”

Having an idea of what we want from the start also means that we can use prompting more strategically and are better placed to judge if the results are what we want once we’re finished.

5. Bad prompts and your carbon footprint
Why do we want to use prompting more thoughtfully and strategically Because our use of AI doesn’t occur in a vacuum. The training and use of AI models can have a significant environmental impact in terms of energy consumption and carbon emissions.

“The water consumption, the CO2 emissions — they’re pretty big. And obviously, because AI is being used more and more by pretty much every industry, I have no idea how that will pan out.”

Using these tools wisely through a little forethought and planning avoids constant reiteration of a random prompt, generating more CO2 each time.

6. Prompts need context
As AI tools understand natural language, it’s easy to forget that they lack the general intelligence to intuitively understand what you’re looking for. Prompting wisely means that providing context is crucial for generating relevant results that avoid being bland and generic.

“For example, if you’re doing marketing, who your target audience is, why you want to do it, what tone of voice. Then what you get out of it will be much more in line with what you’re looking for. Also, describe what you want the output to be. Bullet points? 100 words long? A table? Describe that as well. Once you find something that works for you, you can then save it and use it again if you know it works well.”

7. It’s not just for creating content
Because AI tools can generate words instantly, it’s easy to forget that they can be used for things other than creating content. They can serve as creative sparring partners, help generate ideas, explore viewpoints, and even foster introspection.

“I have used ChatGPT to ask all sorts of things, from ‘What should I do with my business?’ to being a devil’s advocate; ‘I’ve got this idea, I’ve got this viewpoint, can you argue against me?’ It will just go, ‘What about this?’ — and I’m like, ‘Oh yeah, I hadn’t thought about that.’ It’s good for exploring your own thoughts. I don’t put anything personal in it, so it can be quite anonymous. But you can use it to explore things and ask for its viewpoint.”

8. But it can’t be a replacement for therapy
While AI can potentially be used for introspection and psychological exploration, Kerry cautions against using it as a therapy replacement due to potential hallucinations and its lack of professional training.

“I’d worry what kind of answers would come back and if it would accidentally advise things that wouldn’t really help you, or if it would tell you to do something that would then be detrimental to your health or wellbeing.”

For the stuff that needs a human touch, you can’t beat a trained (human) professional.

9. Using them mindfully is key
Despite her role as an AI educator and professional copywriter, Kerry has wrestled over using AI tools for writing. While she loves them for creating structure for her blog and social media posts, and for coming up with subject headers, it’s also awoken a passion for using her hands and being more creative, too.

So can you have your digital cake and eat it, too? Maybe. Kerry’s overall stance is one of mindfully embracing AI tools while being aware of their limitations and potential risks.

How can you use these tools more mindfully?

Kerry’s journey with using AI and her approach to using it mindfully are a reminder that nothing can replace human creativity. It’s a useful tool, and we can avoid the servant becoming the master by being clear on what we want from it and using it more consciously. It’s here to stay — but we can all choose our relationship with it.

For more articles and guides like these check out our blog.

Follow Kerry’s work:

Watch the replay of our Fireside chat with Kerry.



Laurence McCahill
The Happy Startup School

Designer, coach, entrepreneur. Co-founder The Happy Startup School.