Monday, September 20, 2010

Advice on the advice to advise?

I went to the library twice last week as there's a project I'm really keen on.  I'm loath to mention it, as I recently watched a TED talk on how sharing you're goals makes them less likely to actually happen...  

Anyway, I'd like to write a book.  Now that I've said it, it'll probably never happen but I'm going to try to keep focused on it.  My current motivator is that I'd like the book to create virtual a smoke screen, in time for when I receive a work permit.

I've talked to friends about what I should write and I keep getting pulled in many directions.  Should it be a memoir, tracking me from leaving work in London till either starting a new career in the US, or taking me to the point where we decide things are better this way round?  Or maybe a self help book for Dad's in the same position as me?  The latter gets the most support from our female pals.  Apparently, stay-at-home husbands are the latest fashion accessory for high achieving women... and I could even include some of my lovely recipes in the book.  Ouch!  My previous strategy for convincing Lynn that I shouldn't go back to work seems to have backfired.  We're eating takeout food from now on.

The first step for me was to start reviewing other people's books.  Though on reflection, starting this blog was probably the first step. Though at that point I had no book-based intentions at all - just damp shorts.

My book will probably be about the swapping of roles that Lynn & I have enjoyed / experienced.  To start with, I thought I'd read a bunch of the parenting self-help books.  Firstly, I thought they might help me in my day-to-day life, and secondly, the structure of this type of book might help give me some pointers.  I've mentioned before that I'm cheap... so I went to the library.  

Most of the parenting self-help books are about how to cope with the first few years of your child, in particular there a loads of books aimed at new fathers.  After just a few moments staring at the shelves, I started yawning and my eyes started to wander.  I noticed, "Ten stupid things Men do to mess up their lives".  It's uncomfortable reading, but compelling, a bit like watching a race car crash.  In fact, parts of it read like a factual description of my twenties and early thirties.  Obviously, I took that one home.

Then I spotted a book that I just had to have.  I was worried the librarian might look at me strangely, but I needn't have stressed.  "Confessions of a slacker wife" is mine till Oct 7.  This was my dirty little secret, perhaps I could learn some shortcuts and cunning strategies.  Unfortunately I'm struggling a bit with this book.  It's not as much fun as it looks - perhaps that's the title for my book right there!

In the end I took out 7 books, all of which were either self-help guides or were related to the psychology of husbands.   I think you can get too much advice and that's become my aim.  I want to get so much advice that it all merges into a white Gaussian noise, that way I'll become able to totally disregard it all and do my own thing.