The word of the week is:



  1. a feeling of uneasiness or anxiety of the conscience caused by regret for doing wrong or causing pain; contrition; remorse, anxiety arising from awareness of guilt
  2. any uneasiness or hesitation about the rightness of an action, distress of mind over an anticipated action or result
  3. a twinge of misgiving : scruple

Here’s an example from Arthur Conan Doyle in the short narative of “The Love Affair of George Vincent Parker

Miss Groves was promised to me, said he, and therefore she was mine. I could do what I liked with her. Nothing short of a miracle will alter my convictions.

The doctor attempted to argue with him. Suppose anyone took a picture from you, what steps would you take to recover it? he asked.

I should demand restitution, said he if not, I should take the thief’s life without compunction.


Write for five minutes, using the word “compunction” as frequently as you can. When you’re fin­ished, post your practice in the comments section.
Also, extra credit if you use the word of the week in your daily practice!

girl holding sweets

Photo by D. Sharon Pruitt

My Practice
Jimmy taught me to smoke in the backyard of his Granda’s house. Without compunction I learned to inhale the white wispy smoke down into my pure virgin lungs. Wasn’t life simple back then with Jimmy. Me an’ him just running wild, robbing penny sweets from the local shop, smoking his Granda’s cigarettes, drinking Momma’s sherry and finding trouble to get into. We lived without guilt, without compunction. We thought we lived, we laughed at the good girls off to Sunday school and the boys with dampened down hair.

Years later, way after Jimmy died in the car we stole on my sixteenth birthday, long after the baby we made, arrived, I discovered what consequences were. I sit on my porch, my breathing assisted by an oxygen bottle, my grandchildren running wild, stealing my cigarettes and smoking in the backyard without compunction.

Joe Bunting
Joe Bunting

Joe Bunting is a writer and entrepreneur. He is the author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller Let’s Write a Short Story! and the co-founder of Story Cartel. You can follow him on Twitter (@joebunting).