The Fear of Writing

Well, my dear readers, I find myself suffering from a case of scriptophobia.  Scriptophobia is defined as the fear of writing for the public.  The Wikipedia article says: “Scriptophobes tend to be very cautious in writing, while suffering symptoms including nausea, trembling, raised heart rate, and even losing consciousness.  Sufferers should be treated with the help of therapists.”  Be at ease: I only suffer from excessive caution and diffidence.  The thought of needing a therapist caused me to burst out laughing!  Though, I pity persons who fear criticism and become anxious over people knowing their inmost thoughts so much that they need a therapist to overcome this fear.

Hemingway is famous for a writer's block which lasted ten years and ended with what might be considered his masterpiece: The Old Man and the Sea.

Hemingway is famous for a writer’s block which lasted ten years and ended with what might be considered his masterpiece: The Old Man and the Sea.

In a sense, however, I am writing this very article as therapy.  My case might be compared to stage fright, which I know no way of overcoming save by stepping into the spotlight.  (Admittedly, this is a smaller theater than I have at Medieval Otaku, but a theater all the same.)  Curiously, this case stems from me having submitted a novel to a writing contest.  You might say that I have finished a performance, but have experienced neither the approbation nor opprobrium of the spectators.  I feel like Beethoven with his back toward the audience at the end of his Ninth Symphony.  May my story have as happy an ending!

Beethoven

I sympathize heartily with Beethoven.  All my learning and creativity was poured into that novel, which I am not sure will be loved or hated.  This uncertainty has paralyzed my motivation to write.  As I write this article, I feel like a bed-ridden patient needing to re-accustom his limbs to exercise–even though my present case has lasted only four days.  I fear whether what I write will contain anything of value.

I'm reading a book on Joseph Conrad's life.  He did not have a very happy beginning, but I hope that it gets better.

I’m reading a book on Joseph Conrad’s life. He did not have a very happy beginning, but I hope that it gets better.

Yet, I have in the past described my posts as much mediocrity with a few gems.  A coal mine may have a few diamonds hidden among its depths, but one will never uncover the diamonds without shoveling tons of coal.  And it must be remembered that coal, though neither as beautiful nor as prized as diamonds, has much usefulness.

And so, it is time for me to start mining again.  Look for my article on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight soon and expect more articles to come after it!

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4 thoughts on “The Fear of Writing

  1. […] months ago, my fellow blogger and writer Medieval Otaku stated that he liked the way Seagrave’s Journey dialogues were constructed. Comments like […]

    • Your article does express rather similar feelings to mine; though mine is perhaps not so dark. I love the way you describe your Muse as kind of a dog that refuses to let you go. If I were to personify mine, she would be a touchy and proud mistress. If I ignore her too much, she makes me chase her and beg to get back into her good graces. 🙂

      • jubilare says:

        I’d probably be unable to write if my muse reacted that way to neglect. 😛 That would be quite a challenge. Fortunately, so long as it is fed, it will eventually come after me one way or another.

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