Have You Ever Tried Writing In The Dark?

And I don’t mean a dimness where you press your nose to the page and squint a little. I mean pitch black. It’s funny how when you switch on the light you have to blink a few times and wait for the spots of colour to fade. And then you look at the page. And you see scribbles of crooked ink that you don’t recognize or understand. And you think to yourself: what if those smudged lines have a meaning? And as silly as it may sound, you realize you’ve created this quote and you show it to everyone and you think that they will immediately find some kind of moral value and even though you don’t want to admit it to yourself, you have no idea what your stupid quote means and you only wrote it to impress others. To receive praise and to feel proud of yourself. You have a defined insecurity and you are convinced that this quote you have written will have you leaping on your feet, budding with confidence. But it won’t. Maybe for a short period of time but then you’ll just slip back into self-doubt. And you’ll look at your quote and like a blubbering baby, you’ll start to cry. And you’ll blink hard to force the tears, to make them slide down your cheeks onto the tip of your nose. To make yourself feel sad. To pity yourself. And you’ll repeat to yourself that you’re worthless, that you’ll never do anything good with your life. That everyone sees right through you. And then you’ll tell yourself that your quote is crap, but deep inside you’ll find the meaning of your own words. So you’ll read them again:

“Writing in the dark and switching on the light to see a page filled with scribbles that represent something. They’re unique, yes. But not special. Because if everything is special, then nothing is special. But those wavering smudges that mean nothing mean something. What if nothing has a meaning?”

Have you ever tried writing in the dark?

Alice Bellan