What are warmup pages?

Warmup pages are exercises. They’re practice pages used to get your mind into writing mode. They’re also unfit for human consumption. So why post them?

When I began writing fiction, one of the most difficult things to wrap my head around was the idea that I’d never seen a first draft in my life. Sure, I’d read plenty of novels, but none of them were written in a single go.

Only later did I learn it’s a disservice to compare your first drafts to your favorite novels, which have seen enough red ink to paint a barn. The same holds true for most forms of writing: screenplays, comics, poems, and so on. Published works are well-adjusted adults who contribute to society. First drafts are puking babies. Folks, don’t throw out your babies. Put in the time and effort needed to help them grow up to be strong and healthy.

Makes sense. Concept understood. But when I searched for real examples of first drafts, I came up empty.

To fill this void, I post my warmup pages (sometimes called morning pages) for your review. They are the product of 5-15 minute freewriting sessions that prepare me to work on my actual writing. These posts are not edited. My purpose here is to show other writers, particularly new writers, what first drafts are all about: getting words on the page, exploring ideas, and building habits. If you’re looking for polish, it’s in the next aisle.

D. Roe Shocky