Alrighty folks, I'm BACK. Finally, I'm fully hooked up to internet, in my own home, and don't have to worry about driving to the library or to B&N to borrow their wireless. Woohoo!
While I've been away, I've spent a lot of time working on the beginning of my manuscript. Now, if you're thinking to yourself "I thought she finished her latest manuscript and was about to send it to betas," you're right. But the first three pages of my story have changed about two dozen times already, and every time I'd start brainstorming, I'd find myself tensing up. I'd get nervous. Anxious. Thoughts of I want it to be good and will this just be one more option in another dozen or so of new ideas raced around my head.
Then I came across my perfect solution: dictating to the voice recorder on my phone. There was no pressure. I just put myself in my MC's POV and started dictating, able to go as fast or slow as I wanted without worrying about thinking faster than I could type. (Plus, oftentimes I try to imagine a scene before I spend the time writing it up, so this allowed me to vocalize and record those thoughts to avoid those instances of "What was that really great thought I had 35 seconds ago but can't remember for the life of me now.") I did this a few times, spent about 15 minutes and then pressed play and typed it up. Painless.
So, next time you find that you just can't get down to writing because there's too much pressure, you're in the middle of writer's block, or you have too many or too few thoughts racing around your head, you might want to give it a try. As long as you have a phone, you could do it pretty much anywhere. If you have a hands free phone device, you could even try it on the road. (This is preferable on long, open roads. As someone who prefers that you not die, I wouldn't suggest this in, say, heavy New York City traffic.)
<3 Gina Blechman