Thirty Automatic Writing Prompts


My favourite warm up is to Automatic Write. I’ve mentioned automatic writing before – it’s an exercise where you give yourself a topic and a time limit and your job is to keep the pen moving or keep the fingers going on the keyboard for the entire time. If you go off topic, you write about that. If you get stuck, write about that. This is an act over content exercise – it is the act of writing that accomplishes the exercise.

It’s a great exercise to use at the beginning of a writing session. Instead of diving into the deep end with your draft, ease into the water. Start with an act of writing exercise to get your brain into writing mode.

Here are Thirty automatic writing prompts:

  • What makes you happy? Mad? Sad?
  • What did you do last night?
  • My ideal day is…
  • Is tv bad for you? Why or why not?
  • Friendship
  • Fast Food
  • Jealousy
  • Fear
  • Dating
  • Smoking
  • Strangers
  • Confidence
  • The Truth
  • Music makes me feel…
  • My definition of success is…
  • If I could change one thing…
  • My grandmother is someone who…
  • I believe the holidays are…
  • I feel lost when…
  • If I ran the world…
  • Peer Pressure
  • My ideal Job
  • It really hurts me when…
  • It scares me when…
  • The best super power is….
  • Fairness
  • War/Peace
  • My biggest pet peeve is…
  • Ghosts
  • Heaven/Hell

This is not writing to change the world. This is writing to get words on the page and prepares your brain to write.


No one has ever pulled a writing hamstring


Or have they….?

I often liken athlete warm ups to writer warm ups. Because a lot of writers like to dive into the deep end of the pool without any preparation. And when they get that inevitable cramp, they get writers block, they attribute it to the fact that obviously they can’t write.

When the truth is, maybe they just needed to warm up.

The successful athlete never just performs. They have to warm up in order to perform at their best. There is no 100 meter runner who jumps out of bed and is ready to win their race.

The same is true of the writer.

Many writers just assume their writing difficulties are due to a lack of talent or dedication. But honestly, we have a lot going on in our brains these days. It’s easy to get distracted. It’s no wonder people get writers block when constant information is demanding so much brain space.

The brain turns like the Titanic, it takes a lot of time to get that beast to realize it’s time to write. You have to prepare the brain. Once you get your brain on the same page, when it is ready to write, then you’re golden.

So before you start to write with purpose, do a couple of warm ups. You don’t want to pull a brain muscle do you?