Is also the hardest. That’s probably why it works.
The idea is to get everything flowing out of your brain on to paper, without a filter, for a fixed number of pages or minutes. There are no right or wrong answers. There’s no inner critic. Just write whatever is on your mind and don’t stop, hesitate or pause until you’ve reached your limit, in time or pages.
The concept couldn’t be easier. But in practice, it can be incredibly hard work for a creative person to turn off their inner critic, even for minutes at a time. That’s why it works.
What you will discover, once you get the hang of it, is a myriad of questions you didn’t know were weighing on you, answers to questions you’ve put off answering and a well of new ideas to later extract.
I’m a big believer in the Robert Frost-inspired adage, “the only way out is through.” If your brain is taking the easy roads and putting you in a creative rut, you must fight fire with fire. The inner critic is what gets you into these situations, so you must face the critic head on.