Category Archives: Fear

Most Writers and Readers Suffer From Manias & Phobias. Do You?


In a previous post, I wrote about hypergraphia and other unpleasant conditions affecting writers. Here are several more.

Typomaniaan obsession to write for publication, is most common among unpublished writers.

Some writers suffer from metromania, the compulsion to write poetry.

Negative criticism of one’s writing sometimes leads to phronemophobia, a fear of thinking, but almost never to sophophobia, a fear of learning.

Writers aren’t the only ones plagued by manias and phobias.
Readers are, as well.

come-organizzare-lagenda-di-lavoro_27d82465e5e2f5f8d92b606a5a77a419Biblioniomania, a word created by the folks over at Interesting Literature, means a mania for buying books. They also give us ambibibliopropria, being unable to remember when browsing in a second-hand bookshop whether or not you already own a particular book, and bibliosmia, the desire to smell books, especially old tomes.

If you are a voracious reader, someone who reads all the time, then you are a bibliophagist, one who devours books, and you might also be a bibliobibuli, someone who reads too much. If you run out of reading material, you might even resort to bibliokleptomania, an intense desire to steal books. And there are a few readers who fall prey to alogotransiphobia, the fear of being caught on public transportation with nothing to read.

There is one phobia much worse than the others:


Bibliophobia—a fear of books! Is there a bibliophobe in your circle of friends? Maybe you can plan an intervention.

All of these great words come from one of my favorite web sites:
Interesting Literature.
Head over there and take a look. Add it to your bookmarks.

Until next time—Happy writing and reading!



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Filed under Fear, Fun, fun with words, Uncategorized, unusual words, words

What Are You Afraid Of?

fear-cropped-proto-custom_28What scares you the most?  Are you willing to go there with your writing, or are you afraid?

Sometimes, fear and the desire to face it result in a great creative work.

Gustave Eiffel had a fear of heights. Could fear have inspired him to design a 984-foot-tall iron lattice tower?

Alfred Hitchcock had a fascination with birds, but he was deathly afraid of eggs.

images“I’m frightened of eggs,” he said, “worse than frightened, they revolt me. That white round thing without any holes … have you ever seen anything more revolting than an egg yolk breaking and spilling its yellow liquid? … egg yolk is yellow, revolting. I’ve never tasted it.”

According to Hitchcock, “The Birds” was the most terrifying film he had ever made. Birds come from eggs, after all, and perhaps that idea inspired him to have Daphne Du Maurier’s novelette made into a screenplay.

CrowBiz-Dracula-Bat-PrintBram Stoker, author of Dracula, had an intense fear of bats.


And, remember Pennywise, the scary clown character in Stephen King’s novel, It?

King is afraid of —you guessed it—clowns.

[He talks about it here.]

Writing about what scares you might be a frightening idea, but it could lead to your best work.

Writing teacher and author, Natalie Goldberg, offers this advice:

“Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.”

How about you? Has fear influenced your writing? Are you willing to be split open and let your fears spill out onto paper?


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Filed under Creativity, Fear