Investigating myself: Lessons from David Carr

I’m a great fan of David Carr, media writer for the New York Times. He’s a larger than life character. You may have seen him in the documentary Page One, a riveting look at a newspaper under threat from growing new media. We’ll skip the newspaper crisis for the moment because my interest in Carr stems from his memoir The Night of the Gun.

The book sees Carr turn detective, investigating his past misdeeds as a drugs and alcohol addict. He Image

even enlisted the aid of some reporters to locate friends he hung out with, fellow addicts, and even uncovered police and health reports that clearly showed he was a very lucky man to have survived that wretched period and rebuild both his family life and career. A wonderful read, and I’m grateful he was gracious enough to not alone provide me with one of his personal copies, but also to write a wonderful tribute to me on one of the pages. Thanks to my son Daire for arranging that.

As I said, the book is a fascinating read, and I highly recommend it. But it inspired me to think a little outside the box in terms of my own rather puerile efforts to record my story. Carr has a website including audio files and videos of interviews with people in the book, plus tons of source material if you want to delve deeply into his story.

I’m not sure if I’ll go that far, but I am collating material that I have worked on over the years. I am determined to find out as much as I can about my life and reveal my story. So much time has passed since my accident that picking up the pieces now may prove difficult, and I may not uncover everything – medical records and photos of that time may be hard to locate.

Interestingly, I have unearthed a few facts I hadn’t heard before.  And I have also conducted several interviews that turned up yet more information. I hope to fill in many more blanks.

In the meantime, thanks to David Carr for the inspiration.

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