as completely made up by Chelsea Sutton but also like….not really made up?
agnoiaphobia n. the fear that everyone else knows how to do this but you, that there was a day in your writing education (whatever that might look like) where they laid out the fundamentals of a writing life, helped your peers define that elusive “practice” always asked about in residency apps, ran them through how to cleverly answer the question “what are you working on right now” without sounding like a rambling idiot, how to keep moving forward without feeling like you’re standing still, and no one shared this knowledge with you and are, in fact, laughing at you right now; from the Greek word ágnoia meaning ignorance.
frausphobia n. the fear that you may never write another good and/or acceptable play (short story/novel/screenplay) again because you are a damn fraud and have been coasting on luck this whole time; from the Latin word fraus meaning a delusion, a fraud.
miseratiophobia n. the fear that everyone knows you’re actually not very good but collectively decide to humor you, to throw you a bone every once in a while like the stray dog that you are, because it can’t hurt, they decide, because she tries so hard, just look at her little hands, typing away, how adorable; from the Latin word miseratio meaning pity, compassion.
telosphobia n. the fear that you don’t know what success is as a writer, or at least what it looks like for you, that you have wanted to be a writer for (however long), but the more you learn about this life, the more you run the numbers of possible (productions, publications, staffing) and all the money that comes out of it (very little) the more it all seems impossible, even very silly, to think that being a “writer” is all you can be, that being a writer is actually being a Hyphenate (writer-teacher, writer-accountant, writer-marketer), which is fine, you guess, but will you be happy if you write your little plays that no one sees as you work at the Bed Bath & Beyond (beloved by staff and customers alike) or do you really need to get that Oscar to feel worthy, you greedy writer, you?; from the Greek word telos meaning end, purpose or goal.
anyparxiasphobia n. the fear that when you get that Oscar it won’t be enough either, that nothing is really enough, that life is not long enough, and also too long, and this desire for more is simultaneously your greed and also your complete infatuation with Life and those in it, and so you hold onto everything and probably cry a little every day, and maybe that holds you back, but you also know that whatever you might feel getting an Oscar will pale in comparison to how you felt as your grandmother read the little story you wrote in crayon about the Easter bunny and smiled and scooped you some ice cream, because damnit she’s not here to hear your acceptance speech so, like, what does it even matter anyway?; from the Greek word anyparxía meaning nothingness.
kenophobia n. the fear that you won’t become who you thought you’d become in time to share that with your (parents, aunts, other important people) before they are gone, before you can say do you see – i made good choices, before you can say see – i’m okay, before you no longer have anyone watching your life from afar and its just you, making yourself happy, which is totally and utterly not possible; from the Greek prefix keno meaning empty.
anonymosphobia n. the fear that you don’t know who you’re trying to become or want to become and you might just stay the person you are right now and, frankly, you’re not sure how you feel about that; from the Greek word anónymos meaning nameless.
hamartiaphobia n. the fear that your one chance or shot was handed to you already in a moment that perhaps you can or cannot pinpoint, but that you didn’t take it or it was taken from you, and now that chance is gone forever, never to return; from the Greek word hamartia meaning to miss the mark, most often used in reference to tragedy.
vetulaphobia n. the fear that you’re already too old to do this; from the Latin word vetula meaning old woman.
nigomaephobia n. the fear that you have nothing to say, actually, and the simple act of even thinking about writing is taking up space for more worthy voices; from the Greek word pnigomai meaning choke.
penthosphobia n. the fear that this is actually what being a writer is, and now you have to deal with it; from the Greek word penthos meaning grief or lamentation, also the name of the ancient Greek God, who was late and got the cold leftovers.