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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Blogophobia-The Fear that No-one Will Read My Post Unless I Add a Picture of a Cat

Fears—writers love them. They fuel the fire, creating high drama in our stories.
We may not admit it but most of us have some version of anxiety or dread, even if it’s only a nominal, society induced, family-related habit called worry. For many unfortunate people, fear keeps them from leaving home. You’ve probably heard of agoraphobia or the common fear of heights called acrophobia. Screenwriters use some of these fears and create an entire plot based on a particular fear. Remember Die Hard or the super funny High Anxiety? I never saw it but imagine Friday the 13th plays on triskaidekaphobia or the fear of the number thirteen. When you come right down to it, even Gone with the Wind is about our fear of loss and I can’t imagine anything scarier than Snakes on a Plane-(Haven’t seen it). A fear of ants is myrmecophobia, and I’ve woven some not so frightening horror scenes based on it into my work in progress.

 Many of us giggle at some of the strange sounding phobias such as the fear of chickens (alektorophobia) or the common fear the school principal might have known about, called didaskaleinophobia, which is another way of saying you’re afraid of going to school. (I may have suffered from that during finals week.) The funniest one I can relate to (only because I never learned to use them) is the fear of chopsticks. Consecotaleophobia. But seriously, can you imagine there are people actually terrorized by the thought of chopsticks? Don’t you want to hug them and offer them a fork? Could you work a fear like that into your manuscript?

 Once we rule out the fear of chopsticks, the fear of chickens might manifest itself in different ways depending on the person. Is it a fear of chickens walking across the road or the one diced and tossed with peanuts and fired up peppers in the Kung Pao sauce? Or maybe, in the end, it’s those wicked peppers after all, and the chickens get the blame?

While I’m no expert, I think certain fears are “normal.” There’s the fear of tornadoes and hurricanes (lilapsophobia) or the fear of Hell, (hadephobia) and my personal fear of cats, called gatophobia. Sorry, my cat loving friends but those little critters freak me out. (Wait, come back—I think they’re cute—it’s the way they lock eyes with me. All right, maybe it’s not normal but I don’t plan to get over it by absorbing myself in online cat therapy.)
Scary cat?

As a writer, I probably suffer from dysgrammatophobia or the fear of bad grammar and ortographobia which is the fear of making spelling errors. Can you imagine spelling these phobias for a spelling bee? Even the lottery people are trying to convince us we had better lose our fear of wealth (plutophobia) (this sounds curable) and start playing the Powerball numbers before it’s too late.

Last night, we discussed our real fears and mine is losing my eyesight, (scotomaphobia) but my husband had one that wasn’t even on the list. He presumes it’s a deep-rooted fear that comes through from his cave-man roots. (I knew it!) Though we laughed about it and I Googled it, it seemed strange there isn’t a fancy sounding phobia listed for his secret anxiety. He said the scariest thing he can think of is: being eaten alive by a bear or any large animal and we haven’t even seen The Revenant. I wonder if seeing the movie will help overcome this fear or make it worse. Aren’t we supposed to face our fears? Is seeing a movie a form of therapy? Did you swim in the ocean more or less, after seeing Jaws?

Are you afraid of something and have you tried overcoming your fears? If you're a writer, have you worked a phobia into your plot?




(This post is supposed to be humorous and not intended for anything other than rapport among my followers, most of whom are writers and artists. I realize the serious nature of phobias and my compassionate heart recommends counseling or medical intervention for anyone who cannot cope with these psychological issues.) 

14 comments:

  1. Don't bother with Snakes on a Plane. Not good.
    Glad I learned to master chopsticks.
    I don't think I've used a phobia in any of my stories, but there have been lots of fears.

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    1. Glad you pointed out that there is a difference between general fears and phobias although one can morph into another fairly quick. I've seen it happen.

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  2. But cats are so cute!

    I'm not going to bother seeing the Revenant.. there's my general dislike of Leo to begin with, and realistically I've already seen The Edge, which had a man eating bear chasing Anthony Hopkins around, so I feel like I've already seen it.

    Gary Larson coined a term for a Far Side cartoon. He described it as the fear that somewhere, a duck was watching you.

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    1. I agree they are cute but they piddle in secret places and it's not a good or cute smell(Of course Fiona does this too.) and sometimes they are staring at me with huge eyes!

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  3. I used to be afraid of electricity. Then one day with a wet hand, I pulled a plug out of an outlet and nothing happened.

    Eve, when I was a kid one of my friends had a cat that always stared at me with what seemed to me to be malevolence. I don't fear all cats as a result but let's just say I understand your fear.

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    1. Thank you so much for telling me about that cat that stared at you. See world? I'm not alone. LOL

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  4. I always have anxiety and dread right before the thing I dread occurs, then I'm particularly happy about it because it turns out to be fun stuff. My projects seem like lost causes when I start, then all of a sudden, they take shape and there I am, right smack dab in the middle. I don't know what the phobia is called, fear of the impending doom?

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    1. Isn't that called premonition? Or like that saying that says the only thing to fear is fear itself?

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  5. I'm claustrophobic with a few run of the mill fears that aren't really bad enough to qualify as phobias: fire, lightning, spiders and snakes.

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    1. Yikes! I hate spiders and snakes too and have a weird fear of lightening too. Thanks for visiting and playing!

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  6. Hey Eve,

    A very thoughtful post, my kind friend. I know that fear can be so debilitating. I also know that posting up some cutesy photo of some cat can bring in the readers. Then again, I put up something about a cat and it more than likely scared away the one reader I sometimes get on my obscure blog.

    This might surprise you, but I have a fear of being in social situations and I'm a virtual recluse. I also know that a comfort zone can be a rather uncomfortable comfort zone. Something I working on.

    Fear of bad grammar? I don't fear that because I'm a grammar anarchist!

    Have a peaceful weekend, Eve.

    Gary :)

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  7. Hello Eve, I’m terribly afraid of making spelling errors (and probably make lots because of it!) I’m also fearful of spiders, but I love cats. However, I do understand what you mean about the way they look at us humans – there is something creepy about that!
    I’m back after my two-month blogging break and am already worrying myself silly about spelling mistakes – sometimes I wonder why I blog at all, but then I remember how much I miss everyone while I’m away. Happy New Year, Barbara.

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  8. Let's see, I don't like climbing ladders, but I can. I don't like spiders, but I'll kill one if it's in the bathroom or kitchen with me. Hornets or bees (some people confuse the two) won't hurt me unless I make them angry. I do avoid deep water... hmm, I'm running out of things here. My husband can't go near a dead anything. Some how he mustered up the courage at his mother's funeral... but that's him. I'm the one who has to pick up dead things around here.

    Interesting post, Eve. Oh, and don't go to my blog for a while. I've got cats crawling around and will do a post for Valentines that's the cat's meow.

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