Sunday, June 27, 2010

Writing phobias

A while back I read a fun post about different kinds of household phobias and I identified with a lot of them. Like how my husband has "trashcan-a-phobia." Somehow the act of opening the cupboard door where the trashcan resides must be quite terrifying to him. Surely monsters will leap out if the door is opened. Therefore the sink and the counter tops are a much a safer place to leave unwanted items.

Some other funny household phobias: book-shelf-a-phobia: fear of putting a book into a bookshelf because it will no longer be easy to find (resulting in a stack of books by your bedside so tall it might fall over and crush you in your sleep). Clothes-basket-a-phobia: fear of putting dirty clothes in a basket; it's much safer just to drop them on the floor NEXT to the basket. I personally have toilet-seat-a-phobia, fear of sitting on a toilet without wiping it down first - I live in a house with recently potty-trained twins. Just because they use the potty doesn't mean they use the potty, um, neatly.

I also have a few writing phobias. The biggest one of course is fear of the blank page! I will go to any effort to not start writing on a blank document.
Another (very healthy) writing phobia is fear of losing my work. I might only type two new sentences, but by golly I'll spend more time uploading the new version to Google docs or email than I actually spent writing.

Fear of writing during a full moon. Really, the strangest stuff comes out. It's spooky.

Fear of writing about any place I've never actually BEEN. Even after days of research, this terrifies me.

Fear of writing on an empty stomach. Always keep chocolate stashed nearby.

Fear of writing before 10 am. I am NOT a morning person. I have tried to get up early to write, but it physically pains me. My brain hurts. The computer keys stick. Files mysteriously disappear. Everything works sooo much better after 10 am, two cups of highly sugared and caffeinated tea, an English muffin, a stroll around the garden, a peek into a book or two. One thing I'm apparently not phobic about: procrastination.

What writing phobias do you have?


  1. Hey! 100 followers! Congratulations, Margo!

    This is such a fun post. I guess one of my writing phobias is fear of finishing. Apparently, that is WAY too scary for me. I wish it weren't!

  2. I know I have vacuum-a phobia. But as for writer phobias: a fear of failing phobia.

  3. Fear of chopping up my fingers when I cook: does that count? It's caused me to miss plenty of good entertainment opportunities.

  4. Ha ha! I love it. I think my phobia is writing without an outline. I am just way too structured for that. I don't outline all the details, but I do need to know where I'm headed.

    Your profile description is wonderful. Anyone who likes maps, history, faith, and myth is going to write about stuff I like. Especially when armed with a dragon pen. :-)

  5. I only really have two phobias--one of never being published, and one of being published and having all the readers hate my novel. Eep!

  6. LOL! We have all those household phobias too! But I can't say that I have any of the same writing phobias. Instead it's the opposite, I unfortunately forget to back things up, neglect to write about places I've visited, and if I don't write by 5 am, I'm afraid I'll never get to it that day.

    Thanks for sharing this great list!

  7. Great post! :)

    I think my biggest writing phobia is querying! It terrifies me!

  8. I don't know if it would be a phobia so much as a strong dislike, but queries fall into that category. Not my favorite part of the writing process!

  9. Hi Margo -

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. I've become a Follower here.

    Hmm, as a Seat-of-The-Pants Writer, I'm afraid of outlines. They squeeze me into tight little boxes and reduce my word count to nothing.

    I'm totally with you on the chocolate.

    Susan :)

  10. Love this post! :D

    I also have a fear of writing about a real place I've never visited before; it's easier to write about fantastical place. :)

    And ditto about not having a procrastination phobia!

  11. Having read your post I'm going to make a special effort to write lots next time we have a full moon. I'm intrigued to see if anything weirder than usual comes out!

    I used to have a phobia of reading out my work, but I've got used to that since joining the local writers' group.

  12. Great post!

    I have two writing phobias: reading aloud to other people and losing all my work. I'm OC about saving my writing. I save it on my laptop, memory sticks, portable hard drive etc.

  13. Ha, ha. I have a phobia of writing before 10 am too. I'm SO not a morning person. Yuck.

    I write best between 10pm and midnight.

    I also feel you on the blank page. The most hardest part is getting started...

  14. Great post! I have a fear of endings - not getting them right, leaving the reader disappointed. Gah! Maybe that's why I can't finish this WIP! :)

  15. LOL I have that fear of the bookcase too! And I have tons of shelves but my books are all around us.
    I guess my writing fear is what I'm doing now-- sent out my book for friends to read and tell me if it stinks or not:)

  16. Haha, wow, I also have the dangerous stack of books and the toil seat phobia (toilet seat covers are the best things everr). As far as writing, I cannot seem to get started in the morning!! I'm on my third rewrite and I am scared to take it too far because what if I have to start all over again?! Haha, great post!!

  17. I have normal writer fears but I don't think they would classify as phobias. I do have a phobia of hornets though! And hey, thanks for following!

  18. Margo - thanks for dropping by my blog. I'm not sure I have any writing phobias, other than a great fear of words that end -ly! Ha! I write in the evenings by neccessity during the week, but love to write in the early morning hours. Yeah, I'm crazy that way!


  19. Hi Margo, what a wonderful blog. I have been reading your posts. Love your Dad post :o)

  20. I think my husband must suffer from closing the bag phobia. He must have this fear that the chips/crackers/cereal are afraid of the dark!
    As for my writing phobias... a healthy dose of document/word loss is good for us all. I've heard of far too many who have lost entire novels to the evils of computer glitches.
    I'd be thrilled if you could join our blog series next week. Just let me know! :)



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