While lists and cluster maps are always a good place to start, there are other pre-writing strategies that inspire good writing about personal experience. Often, these warm-up techniques are part of the assignment itself. Consider the following prompts, all topics taken from a variety of high school and college introduction essays. 1. Consider the following quotation: “It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” Write about a time in your life when you learned what that quotation meant. It does not need to be romantic love that you write about.