Phobias that stymie writers

Do you have hang-ups that keep you from your keyboard? The first step to defeating your fears is to name them.

Writing phobias

What fears are keeping you from doing your best work?

William Shakespeare was reportedly afraid of dogs. Ray Bradbury had a fear of flying. Hans Christian Anderson was terrified of being buried alive. Stephen King’s list of fears include spiders, closed-in spaces and writer’s block.

Yet these phobias didn’t stop these authors from writing. After all, “You have to be a little nuts to be a writer,” King once said.

Let’s take a look at the types of fears that could impede your progress as a writer. You may not get very far if you don’t confront these phobias.

(Terms from Oxford Dictionaries, and

  1. Ataxaphobia — fear of disorder or untidiness
  2. Atelophobia — fear of imperfection
  3. Atychiphobia — fear of failure
  4. Bibliophobia — fear of books
  5. Chronophobia — fear of the passage of time or the future
  6. Cyberphobia — fear of computers or working on computers
  7. Doxophobia — fear of receiving praise
  8. Enissophobia — fear of criticism
  9. Epistolophobia — fear of correspondence
  10. Graphophobia — fear of handwriting
  11. Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia — fear of long words (also sesquipedalophobia)
  12. Katagelophobia — fear of ridicule
  13. Logophobia — fear of words
  14. Metrophobia — fear of poetry
  15. Onomatophobia fear of a particular word or name (also nomatophobia)
  16. Papyrophobia — fear of paper
  17. Peladophobia — fear of going bald
  18. Scriptophobia — fear of writing in public

These types of fears usually originate “from a negative experience in one’s past,” according to the website “Apart from technicalities, many Scriptophobes are also afraid of fear of rejection, fear of ridicule or the fear of embarrassing themselves or fear of being criticized, etc. A student might have been rebuked or laughed at owing to something s/he has written or even for their handwriting.”

How would you advise writers to overcome their phobias, PR Daily readers?

A writer and editor from Austin, Texas, Laura Hale Brockway is also a regular contributor to PR Daily. Read more of her work at

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