How to Win Against the Fear of Writing?


Writing, for some, is the only act of giving vent to emotions. Sometimes, it relieves you from all the distractions of the world. Sometimes, jotting down observations help you pass boredom. 

There are some people who write, albeit nervously. Worries run through their mind when then sit down to write.


We will take a look at how those worries grip our mind and how it can be tackled. 


Scriptophobia, generally is the fear of writing in public.  Slowly, it paves way for another phobia called graphophobia. It is the fear of exposing your writings to others. 

Let us quickly trace the root map of Graphophobia via Scriptophobia. 

Graphophobia via Scriptophobia

The fear of writing takes its root from any bitter experience in the past that has shaken the person to the core. It could be an incident where the person went through extreme humiliation and criticisms because of the peculiarity of his handwriting or the style of his/her writing.  

A single episode like this in a person's life serves as a nightmare every time he starts to write. 

Causes of Scriptophobia

  • An occasion in one's life where the person encountered his first failure due to his handwriting.
  • An event where one has become the spot of ridicule and mockery for his writings. Say, for example, the person has been rebuked for the spelling mistakes he had made.
  • An event that has cost the person something for which he had been preparing for long. For example, subsequent failure in examinations or competitions because of the handwriting.
  • It can also be hereditary.

Effects of Scriptophobia 

  • Develops a sense of inferiority complex and low self-esteem.
  • Fearing rejection and insults, the writing skill in the person deadens to a large extent. The constant feat that his writing would provide scope for fuss deters the art of writing.
  • It leads to a kind of self-denial and the person starts developing a kind of dislike for his own personal thoughts, considering it unworthy of putting it into a paper.
  • He starts fearing writings, not only his, but other writings that he sees around.

Another kind of phobia emerges from this. It is the hesitation or aversion towards bringing your writings to the limelight.  This is the fear of exposure that is called Graphophobia. 


A graphophobic person even if he/she manages to write takes care to keep it hidden from the world. The person takes considerable efforts to keep away from spaces that require him to write or spaces that display the act of writing. People with an acute fear of writing can have panic attacks which can have an adverse effect on the health conditions.


Ways to Curb Graphophobia

There are medical treatments available for phobias. But therapy is more advisable to deal with phobias. Medicines help to suppress the symptoms. So it is likely that it may re-appear in the future. It is not cent per cent guaranteed that therapy can eliminate the phobia such that it never grips the person again in the future, but the side effects that come along with the intake of medicines can be resisted with therapy. 

Exposure Therapy

It is the kind of treatment where the person is gradually exposed to the act of writing. The reaction that he displays at the beginning of the treatment could be a kind of panic. But that should not restrict the treatment process. 

He is slowly exposed to his fear and he is consequently encouraged to start writing. He is initially asked to draw lines on a paper. Once he is able to do so, he may be invited to scribble some words of his choice. Later, he equips himself with the power to write phrases. This is what is expected from exposure therapy.

The more he is exposed to the fear of writing, the less it bothers him. As time passes, he will overcome his fear. Maybe he starts to develop a liking for writing in the future. Apparently, this is done under the supervision of a qualified person. 

The Healing Process from Within

  • The first step of self-treatment involves just you and your write-ups. Jot down all those that you need to and keep it to yourself.
  • Read it whenever you feel like. Go through the spelling as well as your handwriting.
  • Assure yourself that spelling does not matter, so does your handwriting. After all, you are writing for yourself. It should be readable to you.
  • After you practice this for a while, share it with somebody you are comfortable with. Get the feedback from them.
  • Slowly but steadily, you will come to the forefront with your pen and paper.

You are going to brush past the fear of writing and once it pleases your own psyche that your writings should be left out to the public for scrutinizing and commentary, learn that you have overcome your fear. 

The best motivation and best therapy for any phobia come from within. The first resort whenever any kind of fear grips you should be to turn toward yourself and nurture the will to shake it off from your shoulders. 

Written by - Maryam Salim

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