9 out of 10 Writers are Guilty of “Doing Quisby.” Are You?

Do you hang out on social media when you should be writing?
Then you are guilty of doing quisby

an old slang term for idling away your time. But don’t worry, you are not alone. When the muse is silent most writers will do anything to avoid writing.

Some are bedpressers, sleeping in until their muse wakes them, or maybe sleeping late because the muse woke them in the middle of the night.

An elusive muse might cause writers to let out an unexpected, guttural humdudgeon—a loud complaint or noise. (An alternate meaning for humdudgeon is “an imaginary illness or pain,” and there’s another excuse for not writing.)

A missing muse can lead to phobias like ergophobia, the fear of work, and allodoxaphobia, the fear of other people’s opinions. (“Here you are procrastinating instead of writing.”) And not writing when you should be writing can lead to kakkorhapiophobia, the fear of failure.

Writers who have Cacoethes scribendi (a Latin term meaning “a compulsive desire to write”) suffer terribly when their muse disappears for a while. They might use alcohol to soothe the pain and become capernoited— “slightly muddled in the head as a result of drink.”

Other writers resort to accismus.

Accismus: (noun) The pretended refusal of something one keenly desires.
“I didn’t really want to write today anyhow.”

Most writers know that eventually their muse will return and everything will be oojah-cum-spiff, a phrase meaning “just fine” created by P.G. Wodehouse, one of the most widely read humorists of the 20th century.

Maybe you are a cunctator. You are if you should be writing but are here doing quisby. A cunctator is a person who procrastinates.

Does that describe you?
Then get busy and start writing!

 But don’t forget to come back here to the blog the next time you’re doing quisby.


Thanks to the web site Interesting Literature for these wonderful words. You might also enjoy my post 9 out of 10 Writers Have Hypergraphia. Do You?


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Filed under fun with words, unusual words, words

4 responses to “9 out of 10 Writers are Guilty of “Doing Quisby.” Are You?

  1. klelange

    Yes, “doing quisby” is an accurate description of some stretches in my days. Thanks for enlightening us! 🙂

  2. I love reading about new words…even if I should be writing a book review or a blog post. Glad I found you through Novel Rocket.

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