6. Spiders. OK, this is a bit conventionally Halloween-y, but to be a writer you need to be completely unheroic when it comes to creatures a ten thousandth of our size.
7. Deadlines. I mean, come on, they have the word dead in them. And the fear gets so much that I whenever I feel them coming near I have to run and hide behind the sofa. Metaphorically. For instance, this blog had a deadline. And that deadline was three days before this moment when I type these words. So this is beyond deadline, a kind of afterlifeline. And it is spooky. (Ed. Note: And yet, we found you behind the sofa, because we are the Boogeyman Blogger! And you are still alive, living to see another deadline.)
8. Parties. Parties are terrifying for writers. The act of writing is the absolute opposite of being at a party. Especially literary parties. The kind where you get a name badge and where you stand there cradling a glass of bad white wine trying to smile and act normal, while people look over your shoulder and wonder if there is someone less weird they could be talking to.
9. Reality. This is a no-brainer. If you write fiction for a living the chances are you are scared of reality. You were always scared of it. You were the kid who stared out of the window at school, imagining you were something other than the kid staring out of the window at school (astronaut, rock star, Marty McFly, Teen Wolf, a cool kid in a John Hughes movie, or sometimes just Shaun Weakes, the kid at the next table). And reality is more scary now, because you are 38 years old.
10. The idea that imagination runs out. Every time you get writer’s block you think, “This could be it.” This could be the last time you ever come up with anything ever again. Imagination is not infinite. It is like milk. Good old-fashioned cow’s milk that curdles and becomes sour or plain old cheese. One day it will happen to you. And you know this and it is terrifying.
11. Royalty statements. You soon discover that “royalty statement” is Latin for “bitter disappointment.”
12. Illness(es). Right now, at this moment, I have googled myself into believing I have three potentially fatal diseases, simply because I have a headache and my eyes are sore. I expect to die by at least, like, lunch. And if I was a non-writer with a proper job I would not be able to wallow and fret and be on Web MD all day. Possibly.
13. Facebook. A continual school reunion full of the scariest ghosts of all the people you grew up with. OK, this isn’t specific to writers. Just humans.
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