What is Automatic Writing? Should you use it?

what is automatic writing


Writing is a mentally stimulating activity that allows you to use different parts of the mind. You can’t just sit down and start writing out of the blue. You have to think things through before you put your words down on paper. Writing may be quite a difficult activity for some writers, because it is mentally taxing, and could drain you of motivation to write.

However, there is a different approach when it comes to writing. This concept is automatic writing. This is not really a writing method and more of a psychic ability.

Some writers say that this method is effective, and other writers have doubts about it. The main question is, should you use it during your writing sessions? Or should you just leave the automatic writing alone? Will it be able to help you improve as a writer? Or will it prove useless?

This article aims to explore automatic writing and whether you should use it as a writer.


What is Automatic writing?

As it was stated earlier, automatic writing is not really a writing method. Instead, it is a form of spiritual practice wherein the writer leaves the psyche open to outside powers such as spirits to guide his or her writing. In layman’s terms, automatic writing or pyschography is the act of writing without conscious thought.

The concept of automatic writing originated in ancient China, where it was called “spirit writing”. It was soon called Fuji or Planchette writing.  It was considered a tradition in China, and was used by mediums who received messages from spirits, gods, and ancestors. The method has been used since the Song dynasty. The practices were soon passed over to the Japanese Zen Obaku monks.

In western traditions, the first versions of automatic writing was the Enochian language, which was said to have been taught to occultists John Dee and Edward Kelley by Enochian angels.  The practice of automatic writing has also been used in séances and Ouija board reading.


Speculated advantages

When it comes to using automatic writing, it is important to remember that it is not a traditional writing method. It is not like any other method that you have ever used before. While some people may write it off as just spiritual in nature, some writers have stated that there are merits to using automatic writing.

According to proponents of the practice, there have been some cases where automatic writing has been used to relay messages from beyond the grave. It was recorded in 1975 that Wendy Heart of Maidenhead used automatic writing to relay the story of Nicholas Moore, a sea captain who was said to have died in 1642.

Aside from writing, there have also been other ways this spiritual practice has been used. In 1975, it was noted that the CIA attempted to use remote viewing for the Stargate Project. The project was made up of a unit that investigated psychic potential for military and domestic intelligence applications.


Is it legit?

While some writers laud automatic writing as a real writing method, many writers often consider automatic as nothing more than a belief system and that it does not offer the writing process any benefits.

Some of the more fervent skeptics do not really consider automatic writing to be spiritual in nature, and base them to be the effects of ideomotor effect. This is a psychological phenomenon wherein the subject makes unconscious motions. This reasoning eliminates the involvement of spirits and attributes automatic writing to nothing more than a reflexive action.


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Facets of automatic writing that you could use as a writer

While automatic writing is not really a foolproof method, you could still use some of its elements to supplement your work. Here are some workable strategies for using automatic writing.


  • Utilize sensory impulses

If you want to open yourself to automatic writing, it is a good idea to utilize sensory impulses. These sensory impulses could be a favorite smell, a stirring vision, or a good song. By using these senses, your mind will be more susceptible to the writing method.


  • Try it with a group

Remember that you will have to let go of yourself during the writing sessions. This could be a bit daunting for some writers, especially if you don’t know where to start. Why not try it with a group? This will give you a sense of security and allow you to let loose.


  • Write a dream diary

It is said that our best ideas usually come to us before we go to sleep. Why not keep a dream diary? Who knows? You may get a great idea before you go to sleep.


  • Be open

While the idea of automatic writing may seem strange and foreign, many people still believe in the method. So if you are going to use it, you should give the sessions your all. Be open and leave your judgment at the door. You never know, the method may lead you to create a truly incredible work in the long run. So be open and have fun with the sessions.


Should you use it?

Now that you know what automatic writing is, and what it has to offer to writers, you could at least make an intelligent decision whether or not to use automatic writing during your writing sessions.  Some of the concepts may seem a bit farfetched, however, it is still a great way to make the writing process more fun and creative.


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