Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Back On The Wagon

Since I am printing, in serial form, the first blog entries I ever did here on The Huffington Post I've decided I also need to create some new material. If I'm going to, in other words, revive the past I also need to put something out that's fresh. I feel like I'm trying, in other words, to get back on the writing wagon. My goal is 10 minutes a day, not a whole lot more. If I can keep up with it, I will feel better about pretty much everything. I always feel better when I write.

Given this loose mission I am going to keep the first few entries pretty helter skelter. Whatever rises to the surface will be what I write about. In this case what's been on my mind is writing itself.

For the longest time I've had this idea that I want to, somehow, write a book. A memoir, to boot. I think I have an interesting story to tell, but I think I've developed a block about it.

The idea is simply to collect much of what is already on this blog, namely the first two and a half years of our life with Stella. Okay, a little bit before that as well.

My goal is to try to make something fun, interesting and worth reading. The center thread I see running through it is that for so much of the first year and a half of her life she didn't sleep really at all. And when you coupled that with all the problems we had with various apartments and living situations (our first apartment was on a block with five construction projects, our second apartment was under a Russian a-hole who would deliberately drop heavy weights on the floor to wake Stella up--and we had lead paint issues--our third apartment was riddled with bed bugs, twice) it drove first my wife and then me to the brink. And then a couple of steps beyond the brink. Couple this with the incredible stress of a nearly year long debate about whether to move to Kentucky or not, and me losing my job, I would have to say that the past three years or so have easily been the most stressful of my life.

Not that there weren't good things too, and not that some of it wasn't fun and funny, but it's hard to reconcile it all. Also there are things I've written that I love, but I am not sure where they should go. I wrote that huge piece about how hellish it was to simply drive out of Brooklyn to New Jersey. It was a 12 part series--it was like the I Cladius of blog entries. But Stella is only in it a bit. And when I printed it out it came to ... 60 pages. Gulp! Where does that fit in a book where the through line is about how our daughter didn't sleep and we learned she had Sensory Processing Disorder? Can it?

Seriously, we went into counseling, and much, much worse over the past two years. Some of it was actually quite horrifying. How to reconcile that? How to make it instructive and yet still a memoir? Do you have little asides where you talk about SPD? How to make it funny one moment and then deal with the horror of a stressed out couple, terrified their kid has lead poisoning, fighting, it seems, with everyone, even with one another? (And we did more than a little of that too during this time.)

I don't know right now, I just don't. I feel if I can get it together it would pin all your ears back and blow a lot of shit, frankly, clear the fuck out of the water. But I am just a bit stuck. How to make it a book, not just a disconnected series of interesting stories that all took place in a sort of rough sequence?

I know, just do it. I am thinking, or writing, out loud here. I can only thank you for reading, if you're reading. But this is the sound of a guy trying to figure something out, not really the sound of a man here to writing something clever. But this helps, somehow, it just does. I don't know why.

Well, that's 10 minutes. I feel like somehow this accomplished something. I am also oddly looking forward to the next entry. I guess that's what it's all about!


Holly said...

I don't really have any advice, but I think you would write an awesome book! I guess the one thing I would work on is trying to condense some of the stories. Focus on the characters. I still LOVE the character of the Russian guy who lived above you (even though I know it was horrible to live under him). I think people like us: young parents would be your perfect audience. And a lot of us don't have too much time, so that's why I would say try to condense the stories as much as possible. But lots of other people would like the book, too. Anyone who has been a parent or plans to be can find a lot of entertainment and also pause for reflection here.

Good luck!!!!

Dave Serchuk said...

hi Holly,
Great advice. I very much appreciate it. See? When you throw yourself open to the universe the universe says hi!