Time to Write Now By Julaina Kleist-Corwin

About Writing Plus

Write with the Monitor Off

blank monitor screenGary, one of the members in my Dublin writing class also is taking an on-line course with Jessica Barksdale, who was one of my instructors when I started writing years ago. I continue to go on her retreats in summer and she is still an inspiration. Jessica’s assignment that Gary shared with me was to turn off the monitor and type. Gary followed directions and ended up with an eight hundred-word story, endearing main character, a poignant arc, and minimal rewriting needed.

The inner editor doesn’t have a chance to interfere. Gary said he did worry whether he had his fingers on the right keys, but he kept on going. It’s worth the time to do the exercise. What is produced can be a success.

Let me know if you try it.


  1. The exercise came from “Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction” edited by Tara L. Masih. The chapter is called “Fireworks and Burnt Toast” by Vanessa Gebbie. There is much more to the chapter than the part about turning off the monitor but it immediately appealed to me and I couldn’t wait to try it. If you get a chance to pick up the book, it is worth the price of admission just for this chapter.

  2. ladywinfred says:

    I haven’t tried this yet but definitely plan to do so. The idea of blinding the old Critique Monster for even a half an hour is worth all the gobbledegook that might be produced with a misplaced finger or two!! Thanks, both of you.

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