Obsessively narrating life can get in the way of living it. But my chronicling is a source of comfort ‘I know my account of events is partial.' Under an awning at night with the rain coming down. On the top deck of a bus traveling between parties at opposite ends of London and leaning against the cubicle door of a pub toilet. These are some of the places I have written Google Docs diary entries in the past week. Mostly I do so via the Google app on my phone in a document titled Written Version of 2022. It contains everything you might imagine – slipshod accounts of nights out and lists of everything I recall drinking, lines from poems and films and songs, screenshots of paintings, recipes, scraps of news, seasonally dependent paeans or fury directed towards the weather, honest accounts of my emotional state, less honest accounts of my emotional state. At the time of writing, the Written Version of 2022 is 52,000 words and 85 pages long. Sometimes I'll augment it with new events two or three times per day. As things happen to me, I am already speculatively ordering them into a narrative, my so-called version of events becoming overlaid with their real-time unfurling. All this is to say, I'm worried my chronic diary-writing habit is starting to get in the way of me living my life. Recently I was out with someone, experiencing something unlike anything else I'd experienced before (I'm choosing […]
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