Writing Prompts

How to Warm-Up Your Writing like Dickie Bush and Justin Welsh

3 Proven warm-up routines to think before you write — with a notion template for you to start writing like a pro today!

Want to write as fast as Dickie Bush and Justin Welsh?

They have a trick!

As a writer’s coach, I closely watch what the most prolific writers do. And two of them — in my opinion — have cracked the code to prepping your mind before you write!

Dickie Bush (390.5K followers on X) and Justin Welsh (489K followers on X) have a small but effective warm-up process with guided questions before they type their social media content or newsletters.

Why does this work so well?

It’s hard for your brain to “think” without being prompted. When you ask questions, you tap into your subconscious and guide the process.

So, here are their proven question sets for a fast writing warm-up, including a notion template to save them!

Questions for social media posts & articles (by Dickie Bush)

Source: X/Twitter

Dickie Bush writes social media posts, long and short form, on X and LinkedIn. Here’s his warm-up:

  1. What problem am I solving?
  2. Whose problem am I solving?
  3. What benefits am I unlocking?
  4. What promise am I making?
  5. What emotion am I generating?
  6. What’s the next action my reader should take?

I learned that in his Ship30for30 and Full Stack Writer courses.

Questions for articles and newsletters (by Justin Welsh)

Screenshot: JustinWelsh.me

Justin Welsh writes The Saturday Solopreneur newsletter and his newsletters are always covering these questions:

  1. What I’m going to teach
  2. Why it matters to the reader
  3. Why most people fail
  4. What’s the key takeaway (a strong statement)
  5. What are 3 action points the reader should take

I learned that in his ContentOX course, but you can read a version of this process in his newsletter as well.

Questions for books, chapters, or long articles (By Dr Nicole Janz)

Screenshot: Dr Nicole Janz

Here’s a version I use for books, chapters, and articles as a book coach (taken from my 5-day book starting course):

  1. What’s the key message?
  2. Who needs to hear it the most, and why?
  3. What resistance or objections against my argument will the reader have?
  4. What tools, stories, statistics, evidence, etc. can I use to help my reader trust my insights?
  5. How will the reader see the world differently after reading my work?

How to use these question sets strategically

  • Pick either Dickie, Justin, or Nicole’s question set (they are all similar — it doesn’t matter)
  • Copy them into a new notion page or word doc before you start writing
  • Answer each of them with a timer of 5 minutes as part of your warm-up ‘thinking’ routine
  • Then, delete the questions, keep the answers, and extend the text into a longer piece

Bonus tip:

To create your own long-term process, pick and mix the questions that trigger your best thinking — and create your own template going forward.

Putting “thinking time” into your calendar is not enough. You need the right questions to warm up and to get your thoughts from the subconscious onto paper.

And once you’ve done this, you are ready to write!

Your gift: Use my Notion Template

If you’re ready to dive in, duplicate my notion template and have those questions ready each time before you start writing.

Thinking about writing a book? Get my free 5-day course here: startyourbookin5days.com

Recommended Articles