Atelodemiourgiopapyrophobia – the fear of imperfect creative activity on paper.

Word origins: ‘Atelo‘ from Greek ateles literally ‘without end’, meaning incomplete, inchoate, imperfect. ‘Demiourgio‘ from Greek ‘demiourgia’ literally workmanship, handicraft, meaning creative activity. ‘Papyro‘ from Middle English / from Old French papier / from Latin papȳrus, papyrus plant, papyrus paper / from Greek papūros.

I know, it is rather a mouthful, isn’t it? A friend and I have looked high and low to find a proper term for a fear of ruining a blank page. We have found fear of blank paper (vacansopapurosophobia), fear of imperfection (atelophobia),  fear of ruin (atephobia) and fear of failure (atychiphobia), but none quite describes it perfectly.

What am I talking about exactly? I’m talking about the fear of ruining a beautiful, pristine, blank piece of paper. The fear that so many of us seem to face as we stare down at that first intimidating page in a brand new journal or sketch-book, sitting there so full of amazing potential of what ‘could be’; that is, until we make that first stroke of a pen, the first sweep of a brush. Not one, single mistake lies between cover and cover yet: its perfect. The things that could potentially rest on those pristine sheets are the things dreams are made of – until we actually write or draw in it and stuff it all up with a misplaced squiggle or a crossed out word.

The beef? I hate it when obscure references disappear like this one did. A hat/tip is owed to the Wayback Machine once again. If it hadn’t have been there I would have had to personally go knock on Kat Johnston’s door just to find out what the fuck she was talking about back in 2008 because Rob Queen fucking teased me with half an answer on his blog in 2018 and now her website is just a marketing platform for her artwork and not literary at all.

Neither of them appear to write anymore. Apparently Atelodemiourgiopapyrophobia got the best of both of them.

I’m almost caught up on