Writing before you write? Why?
The obvious answer is to get your thoughts together, but there are other reasons as well. Here are five you might want to consider:

  1. Whether you’re a pantser or plotter, we all need to rally our thoughts. We’re human; our thought tend to fly in a hundred different directions at once. Even as I’m writing this, I’m thinking about my book which released yesterday, the short story from one of my coaching clients I need to edit, and a problem I’m trying to solve in my WIP.
    But when I need to focus on my writing, I don’t want all that nonsense distracting me from my goal of writing an engaging scene that will move my story forward. In order to shut out all the noise, some people like to meditate, silently sitting and focusing on emptying their mind. But I’m a writer. When I want to empty my mind, I vomit all my thoughts and concerns on to my page. I write it all out and eventually I will lead myself back to where I need to be—focusing on my story.
  2. When I write, I don’t just focus on the story and what needs to happen. I use “ method writing” to get into my POV character’s head. I become the character so that when I write I will have all the emotions and authenticity my readers expect. Pre-writing gives me space and time to make that shift from my head to the character’s.
  3. If you’re a plotter, you’ve probably already decided on what needs to happen in the scene you’re about to write. But what if things are not proceeding exactly according to plan? Pre-writing will give you a moment to regroup and change your plotting based on what’s actually happened—rather than what you’d thought would happen.
    For pantsers, of course, you haven’t planned ahead, so pre-writing will lead you to becoming aware of what needs to happen in this scene you’re about to write.
  4. Scenes don’t happen in a vacuum. There are implication and fall-out based on what happens in a scene. If you can anticipate what this might be, it could help you to write the scene where it needs to go, or figure out what might happen if it goes off the rails.
    Your characters are working toward a goal and every scene will either bring them closer to achieving it as move them away. Your pre-writing provides a great opportunity to review those goals and in which direction your character is going to move.

Now, you absolutely do not need to do everything on this list. In fact, I would think that for the last two things on this list you might want to—rather than look forward—look back and see what happened in the last scene you wrote and then plan the next scene accordingly.
For me, the most important parts of pre-writing are the first three points: empty my mind of everything but my story, get into character, and then figure out what needs to happen next.
If you are the type of person who needs to talk things out loud to another person rather than write them down, that’s one thing that book coaching is for. You can find out more about coaching from me at my website.