Wednesday, November 22, 2017

How Many Times Did I Use That Word in My Writing?

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Last week I finished a book and sent it to my publisher. Celebration time! Relief and satisfaction soared through me for completing the writing project. As always it was difficult from the time I researched my story idea until the editing stage.

But if a project is easy to revise, how can it possibly be dynamic?

Editing is as much a part of a writer’s life as characterization, plot, dialogue, setting, and emotion. Transforming a first draft into an entertaining story or a valuable nonfiction book is an exciting process, a challenge I welcome.

And I want you to experience the same adventure.

One of the weaknesses stalking me and many writers is overused and pet words. I’m so guilty that I even have a list titled “DiAnn’s Weasel Words.” When I discover the flaw in my writing, I’m so disappointed in myself. After all a writer is supposed to be in the written communication business. Finding the perfect word is part of the thrill for the writer and a joy to the reader.

I wanted to share an indispensable and free tool to help you conquer the dreaded problem of, “How many times did I use that word?” It’s called the Word Frequency Counter:

I’m sure you will appreciate it as much as I do. Navigate to the website above. I’ve typed a ridiculous paragraph here to demonstrate the site’s usefulness.

Writing is a passion for me. I'm always writing something, from writing a grocery list to writing what I need to pack for a trip, and writing my list of what needs to be done. My passion for writing came from something in my past. Or maybe it was on a trip. I really don't know except my passion for writing is a lifelong passion.

Now click “submit.”

Take a look at what this marvelous editing tool’s value.

Oh my! So many overused words are on the list.

Now you try! Copy and paste your work into the Word Frequency Counter and see what you find.

How did the tool help your writing?

How many times did I use that word in my #writing? @DiAnnMills on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

A tool to help weed out overused words in your #writing - @DiAnnMills on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Firewall, the first book in her Houston: FBI series, was listed by Library Journal as one of the best Christian Fiction books of 2014.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Suspense Sister, and International Thriller Writers. She is co-director of The Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference and The Author Roadmap with social media specialist Edie Melson. She teaches writing workshops around the country.

DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on Facebook:, Twitter: or any of the social media platforms listed at


  1. Great tool. Thanks for sharing DiAnn. This is definitely one I will use.

  2. What a nifty tool! I love nifty helps to help keep my nifty writing, well, nifty. Can't wait to use it. Sharing now :)

  3. I believe I have that link so I can use it more than I do.

  4. Oh my goodness Ms. DiAnn; you must have written this article with me in mind. Your article is the only one I've come across that uses the term "weasel words" (thought I had invented that one), but the analyzer tool is amazing. So much faster that using Microsoft(r) Word(tm) to do work usage counts. May God bless you for sharing such a wonderful gift to us. I'll continue trying to keep my "ands" and "thats" to a minimum.

  5. DiAnn, I picked up the term "weasel words" from our mutual friend, author Deb Raney. Didn't know it originated with you. I find a new word I'm in love with every time I edit. Thanks for suggesting this tool.

  6. Love this, I often use Word to search for my known over used words, but this is so much easier! Thanks for sharing.