Wikipedia offers a good definition: Automatic writing is the process, or product, of writing material that does not come from the conscious thoughts of the writer. The writer’s hand forms the message, and the person is unaware of what will be written. It is sometimes done in a trance state. Other times the writer is aware (not in a trance) of their surroundings but not of the actions of their writing hand.
I would add that there are actually two ways to do automatic writing. In the first case, you allow spirit to control your hand while you write messages. This is very similar to using a ouija board except that with automatic writing you are alone. I don’t recommend that anyone utilize this method of automatic writing because you are allowing spirits to take control of you, which can lead to some negative consequences. If you were very trained, however, and had good psychic and trance control, you could allow beings of high vibration to write through you.
The second way to utilize automatic writing is as a form of dictation. Instead of going unconscious while another entity writes with your hand you could listen and write what you hear. In this way, you are not allowing another entity to control you. Rather, you are simply listening to what is being said and writing down what you hear. To accomplish this you’ll use a meditative process instead of vacating your body to allow an entity to write through you. With this second method you can either use pen and paper, or you can type what you hear in a journal program or Word document.
First, open your chakras nice and wide. Start at the root chakra and work your way up. Then ask your higher self or your spirit guides or beings of good intention and high vibrational frequency to come to you with a message that will help you on your path. Listen, and when you hear something, write it down. Question and answer style can work well. Here is a made up example:
Hello, is anyone there?
I am here.
What is your name?
You can call me Johanna.
Are you a spirit guide?
Yes. I am assigned to you at this time.
What can you tell me that would be of benefit for me to know right now?
You’re coming into a time of change. There will be an important decision you’ll need to make regarding a relocation. If you decide to relocate, you will earn more money, but your relationship with Joe may suffer. If you decide not to relocate, it will be another 2 years before an opportunity to earn more money presents itself.
So how do you know if you’re really speaking to a spirit and not just yourself? Initially you won’t know. Doing this kind of work requires opening yourself up and trusting. My advice is to just keep writing, keep going. Don’t filter or evaluate your conversation until the very end. If you filter what you’re hearing you’re going to block the connection. Thinking thoughts like, “I wonder if this is just me talking to me” will knock you out of state. The longer you go, the stronger the connection will get. Let the session come to a natural close, thank the spirit speaking to you, and close down your connection by drawing your chakras back close to your body. The more often you do this, the more likely you’ll be able to tell when it’s just you talking to you and when it’s you talking to spirit. When you’re in contact with a spirit they will tell you things that don’t feel like what you might say to yourself. It can take a few sessions to get it right so don’t give up. One benefit of this method is that you’ll have a record of your sessions to look back on to see if the spirits were right.
Understand, however, that automatic writing is not a magic 8-ball. Spirits will limit the type of information they give you for reasons of their own. They’re not going to give you lottery numbers. They are there to guide you, not chew your gum and tie your shoes for you. It’s your life and you have to live it. But getting some guidance now and again can be very useful. Ask good questions so you’ll get good answers.