Word of the day: Cunctator


noun: One who hesitates; a procrastinator or delayer

When I saw this word hit my inbox (from A.Word.A.Day) last week, I knew I had to share it — even if only as a reminder to myself that I must not embody its meaning.

This evening, however, I fear I deserve it as a descriptor.

The more friends you make on social media, the more time it takes to catch up on all their adventures… Today’s post from Rachelle Gardner, My love/hate relationship with social media, sums up my state of mind exactly. I feel as though I could almost have written this…!

… Because social media (Facebook and a few blogs, to be precise) is exactly what has distracted me this evening, and suddenly it’s 11pm and I don’t feel in the least like opening my WIP, because I’m tired and annoyed with myself; but of course I should open it and write something, because something is better than nothing — right?

(I should point out that it was considerably earlier than 11pm when I first conceived the notion of writing this post, so this in itself is evidence of my being a cunctator.)

Trying to figure out what to prioritise is hard. I have achieved my 10,000 steps today — huzzah! — but that seems like a shallow victory in the face of my being a cunctator. (I dunno, the word sits a little awkwardly on the page, don’t you think? Am I using it correctly?)

And so must I remember my own self pep-talk from last week – tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it. Tomorrow I will not be a cunctator! Rah!

6 thoughts on “Word of the day: Cunctator

  1. Rachelle’s post really resonated for me as well. And I can relate to your cunctator-ish-ness – I sit down to work on my WIP and think, “I’ll just check in on facebook and twitter for a few minutes then get down to work.” And before I know it an hour or so has gone by because I’ve also gone over to Pinterest and have logged into wordpress to work on a blog post and… You know how it goes. How I get anything else done in my life is a miracle.


    1. Yes I know exactly how it goes, alas! If I can limit it to half an hour it’s not so bad, but sometimes I get lured into reading blogs as well, and then all is lost.


  2. Hey Ellen,

    Oh, I hear you. I have my own (daily) battles with being a cunctator (great word, by the way!) It’s so much easier to tune into others’ writing than to do my own. And it does feel that with the pressures we writers now have to market ourselves, there’s even less time for doing the work of writing. I love the community of writers I discovered through WANA. I love reading their work, and feeling like I’m connected with people who share my vocation and profession. It’s such a gift for a lonely calling. But time is limited. I get tired of the “tick, tick, tick” of my internal clock. I’m guessing the secret to success (and sanity) with this is balance, but I still haven’t found it yet.

    Great piece.



    1. Thanks for stopping by, Rebecca. That balance is certainly hard to find… I also LOVE my social media and especially WANA friends, but it seems as though there’s a new social media network launched every other week! How can we keep up with them all? Or even half of them? Hugs!


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