Diary-X Disaster

(Originally written at my livejournal)

Hey, guess what. You know that other, old skool 2001-style journal I had? The one I linked to off this here livejournal thingy? Diary-X is, like…gone. A hard drive failure, apparently. It’s uncertain at this point what this will mean long term; short term the word on the street is “they’re trying to fix it.”

To say I am devastated about this development is an understatement. I have been kicking myself, repeatedly, for not knowing anything about anything and for using a service that was basically dependent on one guy’s server that he didn’t back up very often. I did my own backups about six months ago within the system but of course that’s useless, I now see. I have the original Word documents of most of the entries I’ve written since about August 2004, completely disorganized and undated. Everything before that I either wrote directly into the diary-x system because I don’t know anything about anything, or I wrote on a variety of other peoples’ computers, because of the not knowing anything about anything thing I just mentioned.

I’ve talked before about how writing my very silly journal is one of the best things in my life, and usually when I’ve said that I’ve meant that through writing it I’ve met all sorts of people and made new friends and experimented with different ways of expressing myself and so on and so forth. What I understand now, now that there’s a possibility that all four years of my archives are lost, is that something I’ve really liked about it has been the sense of writing my own personal history, of writing my memoirs in real time. Look, I was twenty-six once, with long hippie hair, wire-rim glasses and a weird desire to write about myself where other people could see. Look, I started writing more and more and started getting slowly better and started learning my voice, entry by entry. Look, I did these things then and then I did some other things later, and I changed jobs and neighborhoods and relationships and hairstyles and I kept writing about all of it, trying to freeze myself in amber at various points. For someone as actively self-obsessed as I am, the idea of losing a significant portion of my personal history is shattering.

The idea that all of that is just gone is sort of shriveling to me; the fact that there’s nothing I can do about it is terrifying and infuriating. I’ve been thinking about switching up and getting my own domain name like it’s 2004 or something, but it’s been very desultory and I haven’t put much effort into figuring out what that would look like. For me, writing online doesn’t have much to do with computers, if that makes any sense; I don’t know how to write a book or stories or anything that other people could read so I tried to find another way to write for an audience. My magical thinking about what computers do and are has served me pretty well until now: I wrote something in Word, copied and pasted it into a little window in the diary-x service, and then I could read it online. And now I can’t, and I won’t, for a while at least. I would be okay with that (probably) if I could be assured that eventually I’d be able to get those entries back.

I can’t, though. I can’t know if I can try to assemble dribs and drabs of what the journal used to be into another, more Frankenstein-esque iteration. It feels like cutting off a limb.

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