“Keep typing until it turns into writing.” David Carr
It’s been three years since legendary New York Times media reporter David Carr died of cancer. He was a brilliant reporter and writer, as well as being an honest and caring (and sometimes abusive) human being. The following is an excerpt from his memoir Night of the Gun printed in New York Times Magazine:
If I said I was a fat thug who beat up women and sold bad coke, would you like my story? What if instead I wrote that I was a recovered addict who obtained sole custody of my twin girls, got us off welfare and raised them by myself, even though I had a little touch of cancer? Now we’re talking. Both are equally true, but as a member of a self-interpreting species, one that fights to keep disharmony at a remove, I’m inclined to mention my tenderhearted attentions as a single parent before I get around to the fact that I hit their mother when we were together. We tell ourselves that we lie to protect others, but the self usually comes out looking damn good in the process.”
I think this is one of the most powerful and nakedly honest paragraphs ever written in a memoir. If you have not watched his book talk from C-SPAN 2, you need to do so right now.
Remembrance tweet from Carr’s daughter Erin:
Happy @carr2n day. A brutal one for us but sincerely a time to celebrate him, his words, his life. Couldn't be prouder of all that he did and I will champion him and his work until the day I die. @nytimes https://t.co/bxDDcBNNg6
— ELC (@erinleecarr) February 12, 2018