Possibly, I am the only blogger I know who has 345 blog posts in reserve, all because she fears pushing the publish button. Like the story The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins (an obscure Dr. Seuss title), I relate to the child who becomes conspicuous and is forced to punishment for something which isn’t his fault.


If you’re unfamiliar with that story, the gist of it is that a young peasant boy goes to the city just as the king is passing by. Like all good villagers, he takes off his hat only to find that, despite this, the king stops directly in front of him to demand he remove his hat and so begins a problem.

Like that child, I was born somewhat shy. I was further schooled in how to avoid extra attention. In fact, my maiden name, Malvino, means “an awe-inspiring view” and as I’ve said somewhere before, my ancestors were probably the ones the Romans found hiding out of the public view, staring at nature’s beauty, feeling their own feelings, minding their own business, etc., when somehow, their failed conformity made them a target and placed them in obscure history books.

As Seuss’s story progresses, the young boy, Bartholomew, is forced to remove hat after hat as the king’s archivist follows him through the castle counting each hat that has fallen.

cubbins.jpgSomewhere along the way, in a last ditch effort of self expression, the hats produced unwillingly from atop the boy’s head morph from a simple felt cap with a meager feather to elaborate pieces worthy of the court’s best milliner. The 500th hat is so luxurious, from trailing feathers to a large central gem the size of a plum, that the king has a sudden change of heart. He aborts his order to behead Bartholomew to make him stop “hat-ing” everywhere, and thus that last glorious gesture ends the boy’s super power yet earns him money beyond his wildest dreams.

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And what is my point? Sometimes we can’t help what comes out of us. There’s no need for shame.  Like most phobias, facing the fear is the best way to get rid of it as is, accepting reactions from appreciation to jealousy to complete neutrality.

Following the advice from Darren Rowse of Problogger (whose ideas I’ve come to respect), I hope to grow less concerned with what others think of my writing and more in touch with the voice I’ve been developing through two plus years of daily writing. I have a plan and a measure of ambition and hope to uncover some unexpected jewels of my own.



4 Replies to “Scriptophobia”

  1. When I first read the title of the book, I had no recollection of it; but the pictures brought it all back! Wow, the power of the image! But memory lane aside, I’m glad you’re committing to dispelling the scriptophobia, because–purely selfishly–I’m looking forward to reading more of your published writing! (And I suspect I’m not the only one.) I don’t think I have as much of a phobia about pushing the publish button…but I definitely do care whether people like or hate what I posted. That’s my phobia to deal with–public disapproval of my writing or my thoughts or just me. LOL. You’re not alone in your fear-facing efforts! Here’s to the jewels!

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