I picked this up from reading Natalie Goldberg’s WRITING DOWN THE BONES: timed writing sessions. I use these sessions to come up with new ideas or find a way to revise a scene when I’m stuck. Before starting, I set a timer for 10, 15, or 20 minutes and then try to keep my hand moving the whole time without stopping. I find that the pressure of the timer helps to turn off the inner critic. As Goldberg says, “the aim is to burn through to first thoughts, to the place where energy is unobstructed by social politeness or the internal censor, to the place where you are writing what your mind actually sees and feels, not what it THINKS it should see or feel.” I have a specific example of how I use the timer in my writing classes in a “Writing Workout” I posted on our TeachingAuthors.com blog. You can read the post here:
What an amazing quote! Boy, do I need to burn past my internal censor. I've seen quite a few writers using timed writing sessions lately. I plan to give them a try. Thanks, Carmela!