On episode three of season four of the Royal Court Theatre Playwright’s Podcast, Simon Stephens tells guest Stef Smith about the daily automatic writing process he developed with Chris Good.

Every day, he writes, in notebooks, as such:

4 minutes on “Things I remember.”

4 minutes on “Things I notice.”

and 4 minutes on “Things I imagine or intend to do in the future.”

Do you have a daily writing prompt?

Playwright Simon Stephens at work. Photo via https://officiallondontheatre.com/news/in-pictures-playwrights-at-work-268221/



It should be clear how the use of such a tool to stay practiced, keep the juices flowing, and just create without the pressure to create within the boundaries of a specific, current work in progress could be helpful to any writing practice.

How much do we see and experience that we just let slip through our fingers that could be woven into great material? Notebooks full of such daily detail and remembered artifacts could be mined on a rainy day when you’re feeling otherwise uninspired. Or what patterns might emerge? What themes?

Try it for a month or if a daily writing practice is not possible within your present circumstances (e.g. you have three jobs, like me), try this prompt instead of not writing at all at the end of a long day when you realize you should sit down to write, but don’t feel like you have the brainpower left to work. Or, if you’d love to write before work but didn’t wake early enough to spare as much as a full half-hour before you have to leave … try it – you only need 12 minutes to connect to your craft and will have an easier time calling yourself a writer in between those open windows of real productivity that result in pages.