Is automatic writing a great idea for this?
I think prepared questions are best, and I don’t think automatic writing is the way to go as it is way too easy to go nowhere with it and just get a jumble of nonsense.
EA’s exercise for learning to hear spirits is to write down five questions, and then open the sigil of whatever spirit you’re calling, ask your questions, and then write down what comes into your head. I have had great success with this exercise, and it has helped immensely in separating my inner voice from that of the spirit.
I also find this to be very helpful. Your brain definitely gets fuzzy in a trance state, and pre prepared questions are great. Also the more you connect with a spirit the easier it is to communicate with them. I receive messages from those I interact with daily far easier than those I rarely reach out to or am talking to for the first time.