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July 23, 2009

Living vs. writing about living

I've been wrestling with how to balance writing about life and living it, versus being fully present and cognizant during one's daily experiences. 

On one hand, I do buy the idea that one "write's one self into being," that to write about something, particularly experiences solidifies them and makes them more permanent.

But in this day and age of ever increasing speed and brevity in opportunities to share and write one's life, where does the immediacy increasingly demanded by the medium interfere with the experience itself? I started thinking about this when an acquaintance posted status updates about being in labor. She kept her 500 person network updated through the day with small tidbits, until she finally posted announcing the birth of her daughter later in the evening. And while I enjoyed reading about her experience. I did wonder if perhaps labor and birth might not be experiences that would be diminished by sharing them in the moment of their occurrence? Sort of like the difference between attending a child's 1st birthday party and participating/viewing it from behind the view finder of a video camera versus putting the camera down and interacting fully with the child, guests, cake. There's a similar, but perhaps lesser effect with still cameras, since it's easier to periodically put them back or come out from behind the viewfinder.

That said, I think having pictures/videos of events to use to remember them later are valuable things.

I've also been wrestling with how this question of living vs writing about living applies to this blog. There's a part of me that thinks that my decline in blogging is because of a more purposeful effort at living. (or that there are other, shorter, ways of doing similar things in newer applications). But it comes down to wondering whether if I'm out doing something and while Im doing it, I think about how I'd blog about it, or if I even could, am I some how short changing myself of really enjoying and being mindful of that very experience?

July 23, 2009 at 09:52 AM | Permalink


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I'm with you on this. And I'm not sure I have any answers.

Posted by: Weeble | Aug 22, 2009 2:10:44 AM

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