A few months ago, a dear friend/romantic partner of mine introduced me to the concept of "morning pages". Taken from the pages of the rather popular book The Artist's Way, the idea of morning pages is that you write three pages of whatever comes to mind, first thing in the morning, every day. You're not writing anything good, sensible, or even true; you're getting all the bits and pieces out of your head and onto paper.
When I first heard about this, I balked. Get up early? Voluntarily? Just to write? God save us all!
But then I did it. And it turned out very well. So well, in fact, that I haven't skipped a day since I started doing this months ago. I confess I've yet to read much more of The Artist's Way, but these Morning Pages have been immeasurably helpful to my writing. Many times - including the past two mornings - I've solved big problems in stories I've been working on, problems that would have ordinarily plagued me for months before resolution. So, suffice to say I'm a believer.
For the record, I write 3 pages or more, double-spaced, in a Word document. This is despite recommendations that these pages be written by hand. I have yet to find a reason why, though, besides a theory that writing the pages more slowly by hand makes you think about what you're saying more. However, for me, it's easier to take off my (powerful) internal censors when I type them out.