How a broken vacuum cleaner is like writer's block



My vacuum cleaner has been playing up.

It’s not fancy, but it’s powerful, and I love to see the clear box fill with dust when I use it. I assume that confirms my age and I’m okay with that.

However, this weekend it wasn’t working. The box wasn’t filling. Things were vanishing off the carpet. Sparkly sequins were disappearing into the vacuum, but not reappearing at the top. Where was it all going?

I checked the filter. I washed it out. I untangled the brushes from the hair and threads wrapped around them. I checked the pipes. Nothing. I couldn’t find the problem.

But, then I was left with a bigger problem. Everything it had picked up had come back out again. Like the vacuum was taunting me. Bits and crumbs all over the carpet with no means of picking them back up (apart from using my hands).

After much swearing, I was about to give up. But, then I realised I had forgotten to check one last place. So I went back and found a blockage. A plastic toy with the exact same circumference as the tube it was sitting in. Behind it was all the dust that should have been collected and thrown away neatly.

So what has this got to do with writing?


It has more to do with a lack of writing.

We all have difficulties with writing at some point.

Don't struggle with writer's block.

Some of us will share a piece of writing and see no results. Few likes on social media or no comments on a blog post. It can be puzzling and frustrating, especially as most of the time, you can’t ask for feedback.

Some people will keep writing and re-writing, proof-reading and checking, rather than realising the problem isn’t the writing itself. It’s the fear of sharing. It’s the fear of not getting it right first time. A lot of us, especially women, believe things need to be perfect to be successful.

And then there are the haphazard people. Those who have ideas everywhere. They are inspired every time they go for a walk. Collecting ideas and inspiration everywhere, but not actually doing anything with them. Notebooks and journals are filled with endless half-written pieces that the world will never see because it requires time and patience to put them together.

Do any of these ring true?

As soon as I found the vacuum cleaner’s problem, it was back on. And it is the same with writing.

Once you have found the reason for your writer’s block, you will be able to work on clearing it. Identifying why you aren’t writing will feel like removing a small, annoying toy stuck in a vacuum cleaner.

It’s not going to work straight away. You are going to have to put all the pieces back together again, but knowing what the problem is will make it quicker to solve.

Writing doesn’t have to be painful and tortuous. It can be fun and playful and good for the soul.

I support people on their writing journeys. With over 15 years of teaching experience, I know how to help people find the confidence to write. We sit down and talk about what is stopping you from writing and in what ways you find it difficult. We can unpick the issues and find solutions that means you find the confidence, time and creativity to produce your own writing.

If you want to get unstuck and start writing, working with me is the perfect way to get you back at your laptop inspired. A 1-to-1 session cost £69 for the hour, and it will be bespoke to you and your needs.

For a free 20-minute discovery call to find out more, click here.

If you want your vacuum cleaner fixed, I’d call a professional!