#IWSG: Scriptophobia and Graphophobia

Hello, friends!  Welcome to this month’s meeting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.  If you’re an insecure writer in need of some support, then guess what!  This is the group for you!  Click here to learn more.

I recently learned that there is, in fact, a scientific term for the fear of writing.  Actually, there are two.  Scriptophobia is the fear of writing in public.  Graphophobia is the fear of writing in general.

Honestly, I’m not surprised that these terms exist.  I’ve never understood how some writers can do their writing in the middle of a coffee shop.  I’d feel so self-conscious.  Does that make me scriptophobic?

And graphophobia?  For me, that’s something that comes and goes.  It’s a feeling that I’ve traditionally labeled as writer’s block, but graphophobia (now that I know about that word) seems like a more apt term.  It really is fear that stops me from writing.  Fear that I’ll disappoint myself.  Fear that I’ll disappoint my readers.  Fear that I’m wasting time writing something that no one will ever want to read.

I said that fear stops me from writing, but it would be more accurate to say fear hinders me from starting to write.  Just starting is always the hardest part.  But once I’ve done a few sentences, or a few paragraphs, or maybe a few pages, the words come quickly and easily, and I’m left wondering what I was afraid of in the first place.

Learning new vocabulary is the best kind of learning, in my opinion.  Knowing the right terms and the right names for things makes those things so much easier to conceptualize within one’s own brain, and it also makes it easier to communicate one’s thoughts, feelings, and questions about those things with other people.  That’s why I’m so glad to have discovered the words scriptophobia and graphophobia.  These are going to be very useful terms for me.  I hope you’ll find them useful, too.

25 thoughts on “#IWSG: Scriptophobia and Graphophobia

  1. I couldn’t write in a coffee shop, either. I can’t be around people speaking at all because their words will infiltrate the ones I’m trying to piece together out of my head. I can’t even listen to music with vocals or percussion while I write. If I’m writing and someone walks in and starts talking, I liken it to someone walking into an office where someone is working and sweeping their arm across the desk, knocking everything on the floor. I have to stop and gather up all the paperwork off the floor and re-order it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, the noise is an issue for me too. Too much for too long, and it’s sensory overload. I do listen to music while I write, but it has to be a very specific kind of music. Instrumental music is best. Sometimes there are vocals, but it’s church-y music in Latin, or something like that.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I usually tell people there’s a “cost of entry” for writing. For lots of things, really, but especially for writing. I know I should do my writing and that writing is good for me, but if I can’t figure out hot to pay the cost of entry today, writing isn’t going to happen.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Brilliant new words James – love ’em – even if I don’t think I suffer from either. I don’t choose to work anywhere other than my desk as I’m so easily distracted by “out there” 🙂 It’s also distraction rather than fear which keeps me from writing, even at my desk. I’m grateful not to suffer from the fear, but really need to learn how to be more productive and organised.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not sure if my own fears rise to the level of being phobias, in the clinical psychology sense. But I definitely do psych myself out about writing sometimes. It may not be a true phobia, but it can be a real problem for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I used to write in fast food joints all the time until I got scriptophobia. So I don’t write in those places anymore. I’ll sometimes write in cafes depending on the cafe. But now I’m more comfortable than anywhere writing at home. There’s no place like home.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree! I don’t know, maybe writing in a public place wouldn’t be as hard for me as I think, but I have such a nice, cozy writing space at home. It’s hard to imagine taking my writing anywhere else.

      Liked by 2 people

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