It’s as ugly as it sounds.
A blank page is suddenly covered with words that probably go together but don’t necessarily make a lot of sense. Notes might be mixed together with description and dialogue. After word vomit (sometimes sprints, sometimes not) sessions, I tend to end up with pages of white space randomly punctuated by words in brackets (, my way of adding notes) and bullet points.
July, as a Camp NaNoWriMo month, is my word vomit month. Because I’m trying to get words into a first draft. They don’t have to be good words. They’re generally crappy words. But they’re words. They’re mine.
Through word vomit I get a better sense of my world, my characters, the events that force my characters to move forward and create waves of their own. I try different POVs, different verb tenses, sometimes even different approaches for the same scene if it’s a pivotal one.
It’s okay to have a terrible first draft. I’d argue it’s expected. (If you write good first drafts, you’re a sparkly unicorn and I admire the hell out of you.)
So whether you are a pantser or a plotter, if you’ve hit a wall and can’t seem to write anything, why not try vomiting words? As terrible an analogy as that is, sometimes you need to purge the “bad stuff” from your system–in my case, it’s paralyzing self-doubt more often than not–before the better words start to flow.
Some of my best writing sessions come after I’ve given myself a chance to word vomit.