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.
Automatic writing is used in Spiritualism and the New Age movement as a form of channeling. One of the best-known automatic writers was Hélène Smith, an early 20th-century psychic who felt that her automatic writing was the attempt of Martians to communicate with Earth. She claimed she could translate their Martian language into French. Another well-known author, Neale Donald Walsch, wrote the book series Conversations with God, claiming to have used automatic writing to speak with God.