#Writivity: Scriptophobia - The Fear of Writing by Stefn Sylvester Anyatonwu

Hello Hoodists,

I will like to talk about Scriptophobia - The Fear of Writing.  I have met several to-be writers, 'wishy-washy' writers, dreamer writers and beginners alike who are constantly plagued by this deadly parasite I call Scriptophobia. 

Many people have aspirations of writing books, but they’re held back by doubt and fear. 

Not knowing where to begin, how to structure, who to publish with, and the steps to getting published has stopped many potential writers from turning their ideas and dreams into printed reality.

Fortunately, there are steps that anyone can take to successfully write a book and get it published but few are they that know it.

The truth is, writing a book can help your entire career. It can turn you into an authority on your profession and also can put you on a road to a speaking career. Little wonder most writers today are public speakers too.

My case study today is a beginner writer. I'll call her Amaka. Amaka told me that she wanted to write a novel, but was feeling overwhelmed. 

"I want to write a book, a great book," she said. "I don't want to waste time writing short stories or things that aren't going to turn into a successful book. I'm scared of writing what will eventually turn out to be mere junk"

It's wonderful a thing that Amaka wants to write a great book.  I admire her dream. I'm pretty sure Amaka can  absolutely try to do that.  But I think she needs to give herself some breathing room, get out of her perfectionist enclave and try something.


Imagine saying that you want to be a another Maradonna or Lionel Messi, but you don't want to waste time with kicking the round leather thing about in a field all day. You don't want to waste time jugging up and down. You don't even want to join a football club but you'd rather just play in the World Cup. Dreamer!

Or, imagine saying that you want to be a saxophonist, but you don't want to waste time practicing.  You'd much prefer performing in concerts. You just want to get to the top automatically without no hassles. 

Most great books start out as not-very-good rough drafts and a bunch of scrap. They become great through revision, editing and more revision.

Mind I remind you that no one, I repeat, NO ONE, is born a great writer.  Writers learn how to write by writing.  I was once asked by a friend how I write poems, I smiled... 'I write with words'. Writing and writing and writing makes the writer a great writer.

No wonder Amaka was feeling overwhelmed.  

Think of how overwhelmed you would feel if someone suddenly led you up onto the stage in a crowded auditorium and handed you a saxophone. 

Think of how overwhelmed you would feel if you suddenly find yourself in a football pitch to play against a formidable side.

Imagine how overwhelmed you would feel? 
Learning is not a waste of time. 

And here's the thing.  By being so afraid of wasting time, by being unwilling to fail, Amaka is actually preventing herself from reaching her goal without even knowing it. 

Scriptophobia is deadly. It kills dreams. It have led many potential writers to the grave with their wealth of knowledge and untold stories.

The only way to learn is to experiment, to try different things, to risk doing something that you don't already know how to do.  To try and fail and try again.

The way to achieve something extraordinary is to take risks. Not taking a risk is a risk itself.

"If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative."  - Woody Allen

So here's my advice for up-coming writers; 
Aim for greatness.  Then, give yourself the time and space you need to achieve it.

I wish you all the best in your writing career.

Next week, I'll give you 15 Pills to deal with Scriptophobia. Keep a date! You can use the subscription form below to subscribe to our Newsletter.

Stefn Sylvester Anyatonwu (Pengician)
Editor (Prose & Poetry Hood)


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