Open Wounds

F is For Phobos (Fear)

Phobos is the Greek God of Horror and Fear. Interesting. It’s also the name of one of the moons of Mars. Ph is the sound of F in Greek and there is no letter F. I didn’t know that until a few moments ago. Onward.

As a writer what do I fear? What makes me wake up in a cold sweat, shivering? Here’s my list – writer specific:

  • Not getting published.
  • Getting published (I know, I know. But sometimes when you get what you ask for its scary. Hey, I’m a neurotic New York Writer. What can I say.).
  • Having writer’s block.
  • Not having writer’s block. (because I’m thinking… when will I get writer’s block?).
  • Getting a bad review (I’ve gotten rid of my Goodreads bookmark from my toolbar. I had worn it out from obsessively checking it. It’s like crack for writers.).
  • Red pen marks (this is a hold-over from high school).
  • Having to do social marketing (I’m getting over it but only slowly. I’m still not friendly with Twitter but at least we’re acquaintances. And I’m starting to know Facebook on a first name basis.).
  • Letting go of the need for publication (if I let it go will it be more likely to occur just like the old tale that says if you want something let it go?).
  • Not letting go of the need for publication (if I let it go will it not occur in which case this is a catch 22 and I’m screwed.).
  • Losing my electronic manuscript and not having backed it up.
  • Sending out emails that get lost in the electronic maelstrom of computer generated life and not knowing that they never reached their destination.
  • Having to look for an agent again (don’t have to, it’s just a fear…)

What’s on your list?

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16 responses

  1. Pretty much all of those. But it can all be summed up in one phrase: not being good enough.

    April 6, 2012 at 7:04 am

    • Yup. But if I put only that one down, I wouldn’t have been able to use all the bullets. I don’t know any writer who doesn’t struggle with some variation of that. That’s why reviews hurt/help so much.

      April 6, 2012 at 7:49 am

      • Anything that keeps you from using more bullets is bad.

        April 6, 2012 at 7:51 am

      • Hah!

        April 6, 2012 at 7:56 am

  2. sharkbytes

    Well, I’m not a big phobia person, but fear of actually succeeding perhaps. Loss of privacy.

    April 6, 2012 at 9:25 am

    • That is one of those fears that makes me raise an eye too but I’m not famous enough to warrant it as more than an eyebrow raise. Thanks for visiting! Joe

      April 6, 2012 at 1:16 pm

  3. *laughing*

    I am not laughing at you, Joe…I am laughing with you! It is better than crying, or maybe…chewing our nails, right?

    Excellent post! Such sweet humor 🙂

    April 6, 2012 at 1:50 pm

  4. My biggest writer fear is of something I’ve already done and hope never to do again: incorrect submission. That is, sending something out and then discovering I sent the wrong version, or sent the manuscript someone else returned with marks on it, or picked up the wrong editor’s name for that house. Ouch!

    April 6, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    • Yes, I also obsess about submissions. Does it have the correct address? Did I change the name of the editor/publisher on the form, I mean individualized querry letter? And yes… what version did I just email click send to? Thanks for adding to my list. Best – Joe

      April 7, 2012 at 12:00 am

  5. I read all of these fears and thought, wow, I think I have most of those. Except the one about the agent, as I don’t have one. Um. There are a lot of days when I am afraid I will never, ever be relaxed. This applies to writing, because I think being wound too tight can get in the way of flow. This is why, inspired by you, I started doing yoga.
    Conquering Fear one pose at a time.

    April 6, 2012 at 4:30 pm

  6. Wow, just reading the list makes me hyperventilate! You must be a good writer or you wouldn’t have this cool blog. I’m an amateur photographer, but I still like to be sure I’ll get the correct version (editing etc.) out, when it comes to my Greeting Cards. This A to Z Challenge is stressful enough right now. I can’t imagine what I’ll even be offering for those tough letters.
    Good luck with the rest of the months work. I’m a new follower.
    Kathy at Oak Lawn Images

    April 6, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    • Thanks for the comment and for following my blog. All the best – Joe

      April 7, 2012 at 12:07 am

  7. I’m a neurotic ex-New Yorker writer – hi there! My list is very similar to yours, but i’m learning to let go and write anyway.

    April 6, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    • Cheers to neurotic ex-New Yorker writers! Thanks for stopping by. I’m off to visit your site too. Best, Joe

      April 7, 2012 at 12:12 am

  8. Hi, well, not being a New York writer, (just a blogger originally from East Tennessee and now living between Dallas and Fort Worth) I guess I can still understand your dilemma, because after all, I do want people to read my writings. If they don’t, well, I will still be writing because I must. If they do, well, I will still be writing because I must.
    I am not trying to earn a living at it, but if I were, in my mind I would be right there with you. Best regards to you. Thanks for a good read. Now I have to leave – other blogs to peruse, trying to get to them all by the end of the month, plus posting my own every day. My best regards to you, my fellow author. Ruby

    April 7, 2012 at 6:49 am

    • Hello Ruby! Thanks for visiting. The imperative to write is really the one key element to being a writer, whatever kind of writing you do. I’m a big believer in diversified writing skills (essays, blogging, fiction, non-fiction, long and short). Off to visit you site! Best – Joe

      April 7, 2012 at 8:32 am

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