This is a mind quieting exercise that I read about in a book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.
Many people will get stuck when drawing, only making the crude symbols of the thing they are thinking about because they are thinking with the linguistic part of their brain. Much of the spacial processing tends to take place in the opposite hemisphere of the brain.
Repeating that same word over and over and over will exhaust the language processing part of your brain, allowing the non-verbal parts to do do their thing more effectively.
Bonus bit: The concern you have with the intrinsic link between language and thinking is exactly why Orwell was completely justified to my thinking to be concerned about manipulation of language as a mechanism to control thought.
The escape hatch, as it were, is that language as a concept transcends any of it's concrete implementations, and is intrinsically bound to the act of being. We are immersed in the business of being, and one can imagine a mute, illiterate thinking being nevertheless existing and thinking, without spoken, written, or heard language. Their language would just be to point at what it is they are trying to describe, or recalling the memory of it. Our words as spoken or written, are just a shorthand that allows us to communicate with one another and evoke a shared experience of being.
Everything is language. A language can constrain your thinking within the context and grammar of that language, but another language lacking the same constraints need not necessarily constrain thinking in the same way.
Wittgenstein thusly posits that the very act of Philosophy is constantly engaging in language games, in which we experiment with changing up the rules by which we communicate in the attempt to forge shared understanding.
In short: Communication is really hard, and once you start thinking about, you'll really start having to wonder whether anyone really does deep and meaningful "we're saying the same thing about the same thing" level communication a lot less than we think we do.
OT, but if you are interested in learning to draw, read this book:
One of the exercises is to draw a tree. Then to go outside and look at a real tree, and draw what you see.
The two could not be more different.
Many artists will talk about when they "learned to see". Which means: understanding that reality isn't the simplicity of what our brain constructs, but rather the seemingly infinite detail of what is actually out there.
It changes the entire way you look at the world.
A bicycle is an incredibly simple visual form. You can doodle one in about five seconds. They're not rare or unusual objects and they're relatively homogenous. Nonetheless, most people have never actually seen a bicycle. They've looked, but they haven't understood its form, they haven't decomposed it into lines and shapes. They know that it has two wheels, a chain, a saddle and some handlebars, but they've never actually noticed the shapes that join them together.
In my very limited experience, I think this skill is made up of two components: finer details  and emotional expression. 
I find drawing to a be a great way to learn the art of going into finer details. For emotional expression in animation, you will need to study the classic principles of animation. 
On top of this we've built all these abstractions... like how to socially interact, how to recognize membranes as a face, etc. (also interesting: those with severe autism seem to lack some of these abstractions)
When buddhists speak of seeing reality or things as they really are, they speak of discarding these abstractions and seeing raw experience.
I started learning how to draw because part of the process is discarding these abstractions (oh that's an eye, I know how eyes look) and instead drawing in terms of shapes and lines: moving down, closer to physical reality. This book has been very interesting for this: http://www.amazon.com/Drawing-Right-Side-Brain-Definitive/dp...
Fresh book recommendations delivered straight to your inbox every Thursday.