The word of the week is:



  1. a general feeling of discomfort, illness, or unease whose exact cause is difficult to identify:

Here is an example from The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid

Our situation is, perhaps, not so different from that of the old European aristocracy in the 19thcentury confronted by the ascendance of the bourgeoisie. Except, of course, that we are part of a broader malaise afflicting not only the formerly rich but much of the formerly middle-class as well: a growing inability to purchase what we previously could.

Hoodies by Paul Downey


Write for five minutes, using the word “malaise” 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!

My Practice

Weltschmerz leaked from every pore, she refused to get out of the bed. Stuff work. She stayed in bed all day crying, leaving snot trails like a slug had played mazes on the pillow. It was not a malaise, she knew the root, the cause of her sadness. Bloody men.

On the news last night there was a girl who had an incurable disease, she started weeping for her. Later on the radio, a newsflash for an accident on the main road out of town with fatalities. The weeping recommenced. She thought she slept or dreamt and slept, but, she woke to the radio telling her that a shopping centre in Accra had collapsed. The world was so sad, how could a person carry on a daily life with all this hurt and sadness in the world.

Davy thought it was malaise, or whatever, in fact he did not care, he left her there each morning to go to work, to kiss his secretary, to sip coffee and write emails to suppliers and buyers. After work he went to the bar with Cherry and drank short whiskeys and long beers and very eventually he took himself home, sliding in next to the sniffling malaised creature he called simply wife.

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).