Take out a fresh sheet of paper. Natalie Goldberg uses a “fast-writing” pen. I suggest using your favorite writing instrument and an unlined piece of colored paper for fun. I use a fountain pen with purple ink. Some folks opt to use a computer. Please remember that typing puts you in another part of your brain. I believe you have greater access to messages from your soul with the pen to paper. However, if you are not physically able to write, then just open a new word document on your computer and go for it. The point is to keep your fingers moving for five minutes and not stop. I want you to experience how much writing can be accomplished in a short period.
If you get stuck, just repeat the writing prompt – Writing to understand... or any other phrase that is comfortable for you. Do not stop to edit, correct spelling, look up a better word, or rearrange a sentence. Do not question what comes up in the five minutes: this doesn’t make sense, where did that come from, or what a crazy notion. This is a timed writing exercise so be sure to set the timer on your watch, phone, microwave, computer, or kitchen stove. Whether you use an egg timer, a No. 2 pencil and a spiral notebook, your iPad, or even your iPhone, the theory is the same. Keep your hand and fingers moving and have fun taking dictation from your unconscious self. Make a list, hum a tune, write a poem, or create a short, short story. This is your time to explore and experiment.
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