Illusions, Delusions and Regrets

Non, je ne regrette rien

Image by Jon at NDHU via Flickr

“Our job is to fill the page.  Don’t you remember telling me that?  You always said that,” chided Anita earlier this week when we talked about our long-ago job together at a Chicago marketing boutique.  I sheepishly admitted she was right as of course she was.  When we slaved away years ago fashioning copy for annual reports, press releases, ghost-written articles for executives who had neither the time nor the inclination to put their own thoughts on paper and other types of written drivel, I was that annoying megaphone encouraging us on, reminding us that our work was to ‘fill the page’.   

It was ironic then that I couldn’t fill my own pages these days.  I was suffering from a rotten bout of writer’s block.  After talking with my literary coach K, we outlined a plan of attack that included daily writing and the heart-warming illusion of words appearing on the page with lightning-quick speed.   The plan seemed so clear.  And yet, I used the pretext of a busy schedule of business travel as the subtext for doing nothing.

Fueled by growing guilt, the prospect of regret loomed.  I simply inserted my flash drive into my laptop and pulled up the draft.  My fingers began plucking away like a chipmunk and I was on my way again.  I couldn’t answer the question of why it took some 40 odd days to stave off my misguided procrastination.  It infuriated me.

“Non, Je ne regrette rien,” Edith Piaf* sang so hypnotically.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3Kvu6Kgp88

 No regrets.  Thinking about what held me back won’t push me forward. 

Why does anyone procrastinate?  How do you overcome it?

*Lyrics:  Non, Je ne regrette rien

Non, rien de rien
Non, je ne regrette rien
Ni le bien qu’on m’a fait
Ni le mal, tout ça m’est bien égal
Non, rien de rien
Non, je ne regrette rien
C’est payé, balayé, oublié
Je me fous du passé

Avec mes souvenirs, j’ai allumé le feu
Mes chagrins, mes plaisirs, je n’ai plus besoin d’eux
Balayées les amours, avec leurs trémolos
Balayées pour toujours, je repars à zéro

Non, rien de rien
Non, je ne regrette rien
Ni le bien qu’on m’a fait
Ni le mal, tout ça m’est bien égal
Non, rien de rien
Non, je ne regrette rien
Car ma vie car mes joies
Aujourd’hui, ça commence avec toi

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10 Comments

  1. I carry around my little Moleskin tablet. When some item, color, person walking down the street, catches my interest – I write it down. Then I view what I have later on that evening to see if it is still sticking with me.
    I was in the car that was following the hearse at my mother’s funeral two weeks ago. We turned into the cemetery and I forgot about the trees lining the road on both sides – they were bursting with white flowers and their boughs covered the roadway. It took my breath away and took the sorrow to a brighter place. I’m going to write about that when I am ready. I’m not ready yet – it’s in the notebook. Thanks for your “Like” on my blog also.

    Reply

  2. First of all, I didn’t “chide.” What you heard in my voice was astonishment. The advice you gave me all those years ago is what I built my career on. How could you have forgotten?! “Breaking the white space,” takes the pressure off. It has always been my fall back to break my own times of block. Hope it works for you, too.

    Reply

    1. Anita — you flatter me and I accept every compliment you might have! You have had tremendous success on your path and I will keep encouraging you to share it through your writing!

      Reply

  3. How interesting that you procrastinate, Anne. There is nothing in your personality that would indicate this character trait. To me, you don’t just look forward but leap forward. You are always stretching in new directions and in multiple directions. I’ve never known you to do anything but bound over hurdles and cracks in your path. And with all that you have experienced in your life, Anne, a writer’s block seems like a mental sabbatical, not a insurmountable wall. Regardless, I’m glad you’re back in the saddle. I enjoy your writings and look forward to the next draft.

    Reply

    1. Kris — some hurdles and cracks simply befuddle me and I have to think a long time to figure out if I have the right shoes for those hurdles or sealant for those cracks!

      Reply

  4. Ms G–try pouring your thoughts into a portable tape recorder…makes for clearer follow-up thoughts and you can ‘edit yourself’. CITM!

    Reply

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