What the Hell Do I Write? On Finding my Method

Lizzie Woo
4 min readJul 28, 2019

It’s been two and a half months now since I made the commitment to try and develop a real writing practice.

It’s a funny thing, because I’d chosen the Medium platform in particular based on its flexibility, and on its potential for anonymity. I didn’t really have any plans to engage with the platform beyond using it as a vehicle for my writing, but I’ve discovered I’m enjoying the content I’m finding here, and the fact that in the odd case, strangers are actually reading what I have to say.

And it’s a silly fact, but it makes me want to keep writing.

Which is why I’ve really been trying. But let me tell you, it’s a hell of a challenge sometimes.

Working a regular nine-to-five job that requires me to be chained to a computer for the better part of a week means I’m not terribly motivated to add more screen time once I’m off the clock.

I try and break up my day — go for a walk after work, make some dinner — but a lot of the time it’s hard to get myself back in front of the computer.

On more than one occasion I’ve forced myself to write when it’s not what I wanted. It usually takes me two hours or so of fruitlessly pounding out and erasing sentences to figure out why nothing’s flowing: I’m only doing it because I feel like I should.

That belief — and forcing myself to soldier on — triggered a major writing slump.

I “wanted” to write, but couldn’t get inspired.

Everything single thing I tried to write during that spell was stagnant and sterile, lacking in voice.

I still get the sense some evenings that I should be writing, but I understand a little better now there’s a difference between should be, and choosing to be. I can’t muster the inspiration when I’m feeling depleted, and forcing myself to try only serves to increase my frustration.

I’ve ready many, many articles so far on topics like “What to Write When You’re Out of Ideas” and “How to Overcome Writer’s Block”, and they’re useful, in a sense…I guess.

Everyone’s process is different, though, and it’s a challenge to try to adopt someone else’s method to improve my own — particularly when I haven’t quite figured out…

Lizzie Woo

30-something elder millennial writing from the heart.