Friday, December 23, 2022

Why Every Writer Needs the Gift of Artificial Intelligence for Christmas This Year

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

I gave myself the gift of artificial intelligence this Christmas.

I’ve toyed with free version of ProWritingAid for years. I recommend it at writers conferences and workshops. This year, I finally plunked down the money to use it for a lifetime (whatever that means).

I feel smarter already. 

ProWritingAid evaluates your writing and delivers a report on 20 different components. The free version will review up to 500 words of your work in progress. The paid lifetime version (on sale now for 50 percent off, which makes it about $150), allows you to upload and evaluate your entire manuscript. They also offer a month-to-month option.

Not your fifth-grade grammar police, the software, as the website states, “highlights elements like repetitiveness, vague wording, sentence length variation, over-dependence on adverbs, passive voice, over-complicated sentence constructions, and so much more.”

Why would I need AI to evaluate my manuscript?

I’ve worked as a professional editor for more than a decade. I’m a card-carrying member of Word Weavers International. I even know how to use the Read Aloud feature on my computer.

But even editors need editors. Everyone benefits from another pair of eyes looking at their manuscript. Word Weavers groups meet only once a month. And the Read Aloud feature can only read what’s there. It never makes suggestions for improvement.

ProWritingAid never sleeps. It mercilessly flags every -ly word and suggests stronger alternatives. It tells me when my writing bogs down (glue words), when I’ve repeated the same word an obnoxious number of times, and when I’ve used five words when one will do. Best of all, its faceless objectivity can’t hurt your feelings, although I must admit to feeling a tad offended the day I received a 70 percent Grammar score.

ProWritingAid has limitations.

As with all AI, (and non-AI), ProWritingAid isn’t perfect. That day it gave me a 70 percent Grammar score? It wasn’t smart enough to know you’re not allowed to correct Scripture. Apparently, Moses, Solomon, and the apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote run-on sentences, repeated certain words (think “Thou shalt not,”) and used a cliché or two. 

ProWritingAid also flags all passive voice. It’s up to you to decide when it’s appropriate to use and when it’s not. And it can’t recognize voice—as in your voice. If you follow every suggestion it makes, you could easily edit out the unique qualities and quirks that make your writing unique. 

ProWritingAid is a tool, not an authority.

To use editing software correctly, a writer must remember that it’s a tool, not an authority. There’s no magic button to click that says FIX EVERYTHING. You, the author, must evaluate every suggestion and choose to apply or discard them. Like Track Changes in Word, you have the final say on what gets changed and what doesn’t. 

AI works for you. You’re the boss. 

Some days ProWritingAid has only one or two suggestions for how to improve my WIP (YAY!). Other days, it has lots to say. When I evaluate and apply many of the suggestions, I produce stronger and more professional work. AI will never take the place of a professional editor or (fear not) my beloved Word Weavers group, but using it helps me produce better quality pieces to submit to them.

What should you do?

If you think you might benefit from an AI editing tool, go online and try the free versions first. ProWritingAid and Grammarly are the two most popular choices. Use the program for a while and see what you think. It could be just what you need to take your writing to the next level.

Now it’s your turn. Have you used an AI editing program? What do you like? What don’t you like? If you’ve used Grammarly (I haven’t) and ProWritingAid, do you have a preference? Tell us about your experience in the comments.

And if you’re curious, when I ran this post through ProWritingAid, it received a score of 100% in Spelling and Style (and told me I was brilliant.) and 60% in Grammar. After evaluating the grammar suggestions, I chose not to accept a single one. Curious about what those suggestions were? Copy and paste this piece into the free version of ProWritingAid and see if you agree.


Lori Hatcher is an author, blogger, writing instructor, women’s ministry speaker, and career dental hygienist. She writes for Our Daily Bread, Guideposts, Revive Our Hearts, and Lori’s upcoming devotional, Refresh Your Hope, 60 Devotions for Trusting God with All Your Heart, will release on January 3, but is available now for preorder. Connect with her at or on Facebook, Twitter (@lorihatcher2) or Pinterest (Hungry for God).


  1. Thanks, Lori. I'm a Grammarly user, but by your description, it and ProWritingAid seem to have a lot in common. And you are right, they are both tools, not authorities.

  2. Hi Lori, I love ProWritingAid! It is an amazing tool. Thank you for sharing the great aspects of it. It is well worth the investment with a lifetime subscription it will get much use.

  3. I use ProWritingAid, and it's a wonderful tool to have.