Monday, May 20, 2019

Phobias That Impair Writing

Recently, a friend commented about a phobia he has—Trypophobia. I had never heard of this before, and then I saw someone else post about about it today. This got me thinking about all the weird phobias out there. Oh my word. How do people function?? Anywho, that got me thinking about what kind of phobias would be bad for writers. I’ve pulled some from this very helpful website and grouped them into three categories below (Mild, Harmful, and Cataclysmic) and given some tips on how to overcome them in the writing world. 

MILD: These phobias will make being a writer difficult, but you can overcome the challenges with a bit of strategic planning.

Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia - Fear of long words
— Just use really short words.

Papyrophobia - Fear of paper
— We live in the age of technology, so enroll in Kindle Unlimited and forget the paperback.

Scriptophobia - Fear of writing in public
— Make sure to set up a cozy place at home to write. I mean, not everyone wants to be one of those cool cafe writers anyway.

Nomatophobia - Fear of names
— This will take a lot of creativity for the novel writers out there. Names are kind of a necessity. Although, in my book SHATTERED ANGEL I do have a character without a name, so it can work with a bit of creativity. Maybe just write about animals?

Epistemophobia / Gnosiophobia - Fear of knowledge
— Non-fiction writers won’t get anywhere with this phobia. Sorry, but switch to fiction. While fiction writers also need to gain knowledge of their subject, fantasy or science fiction is always an option. Then everything can just be made up.

The following four go together:

Allodoxaphobia - Fear of opinions
Catagelophobia - Fear of being ridiculed
Doxophobia - Fear of expressing opinions or of receiving praise
Gelotophobia - Fear of being laughed at
— Just make sure to not read any book reviews. The editor’s review could still be an issue as that one can’t be ignored. Just make sure he/she knows about the phobia ahead of time so they can sugar-coat their review as much as possible.

And another grouping:

Octophobia - Fear of the figure 8
Quadraphobia - fear of the number four
Quintaphobia - fear of the number five
Triskaidekaphobia - Fear of the number 13
 Authors with these phobias either need to be short story writers, or make these particular chapters really short. They can also be skipped all together. It might confuse readers, but who says conventional rules have to be followed all the time?

HARMFUL: These phobias will make being a writer really, REALLY difficult. Especially if you have a combination of two or more.

Bibliophobia - Fear of books
— This one can be overcome by only writing on-line articles.

Cyberphobia / Logizomechanophobia - Fear of computers or working on a computer
— I suppose there are a handful of people out there who still write with pen/pencil and paper, but the reality is that these days a computer is needed to get any real work done. Writers with this phobia should just write for fun.

Cenophobia or Centophobia / Ideophobia - Fear of new things or ideas
— The only choice for writers with this phobia is to rewrite old ideas. That works well for some, but it can get redundant for the readers really quick. My best recommendation for writers with this phobia is to become really knowledgeable on copyright law…

Atelophobia - Fear of imperfection
— Since nothing is ever perfect, this can be a big challenge. However, I assume people with this phobia become good at defining their own level of perfection. A writer with this phobia will have to be satisfied with only having one manuscript/story/article since they will spend a lifetime trying to perfect it before publication.

Ergophobia - Fear of work
— Writing is one of those careers that looks easy on the outside, but the reality is that it takes work. A lot of it. Unless a writer is some sort of writing savant who can crank out amazing books in a fraction of the time and are so good that they don’t have to market at all, good luck with that.

Athazagoraphobia - Fear of being forgotten or ignored or forgetting
— Let’s face it, only a select few authors make a big name for themselves. The rest of us are hoping that the people who loved (or even liked) one of our previous books will think to look up another book of ours. Many of us will be forgotten and ignored, unless we do the work to make them remember.

Phronemophobia - Fear of thinking
— This phobia probably straddles the line between this category and the next, but I suppose some might be able to glide right through a manuscript without any thinking. There just better be a darn good editor on the other end to do all the thinking.

CATACLYSMIC: Sorry, but if you have either of the following phobias you’ll need to find a new career.

Logophobia / Verbophobia - Fear of words
— Sorry, but no one can write without words.

Panophobia or Pantophobia - Fear of everything
— Those with this phobia have bigger issues than figuring out how to write. They first need to start by trying to figure out how to function in life.

I hope none of you writers out there experience any of these particular phobias, but if you do let us know how you have overcome them to let your writing career flourish. I’m glad to say I don’t experience any of these, but I might have a mild case of Entomophobia (a.k.a. a fear of insects). The case becomes near cataclysmic when it’s a cicada shell being shoved in my face (yes, just the shell can bring it on…), but we won’t talk about that. If you have a phobia let us know what it is in the comments!

~ Carrie

1 comment:

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