Who am I?

When I was 5, my mother took a picture of me (on Kodak film) scribbling something in the margins of a legal pad. I was sitting behind my dad's desk, drawing wavy lines, in Podolsk – a small city on the outskirts of Moscow.

"What are you doing?" my mother asked.

"Writing," I replied in a high-pitched voice, looking like someone who knows what he's doing.

Twenty years since, nothing much has changed.

Alright, seriously?

My name is Serge. Originally, I am from Moscow, Russia. My family is a mix of Polish, Jewish, Ukrainian, and Belarusian heritage. I lived in the US (California, baby!) and Georgia (the country, not the state) for several years, and I did my BA at Babson College in Boston.

These days, I am based in London, though that might change at any moment. I am doing a Creative Writing MA at Birkbeck University.

To make ends meet, I advise early-stage startups on building their blogs, podcasts, and content strategy. I also write freelance journalism whenever I get the chance. My writing has appeared in places like The Guardian, Meduza (English version), Truthout, Prospect Magazine, and Al Jazeera. I have a few self-published books on Amazon and other places, but I am nowhere near “making it” as a creative.

this is me as of November 2023. my face doesn’t show it, but I am going through one of the most difficult periods of my life.

I am 26.

Why Substack?

I’ve been writing online for 5 years. I began my journey on Medium, where some of you know me, but after several years, I felt like I became a human typewriter crunching out words for money, so I stopped.

I did amass a solid following, though, with about 10K subscribers and 500K views.

When I discovered Substack, it was love at first sight. “Here,” I thought, “was a place that really gets me. They give all the credit to the writer and provide them with an actual way to make money while doing what they love!”

It was a 90-degree turn from Medium, which sees writers as its employees. There, writers were trying to compete for attention with clickbait-rich article titles and articles about MAKING IT ON MEDIUM.

On the other hand, Substack sees its writers as artists the platform serves. That’s a subtle but very different approach.

On Substack, writers don’t compete; they exist side by side in their micro-communities. They don’t work for the platform, they work for themselves and their readers. Ultimately, it’s all about a reader's direct relationship with their favourite writers (not the clicks, reading time, etc.), which is what I love most about this platform. Substack is a great place to create, foster, and nurture relationships with your audience.

So, I decided to build a home here.

What’s this about?

I always wanted to be a real writer.

By “real”, I mean not a Writer with a capital “w” but a writer who writes about Real Things.


Someone not shy to be vulnerable in front of people – not for the sake of being vulnerable but to make a point. And the ultimate point is that we’re all fucked up people trying to find fulfilment in our messy, weird lives. The writers I respect (people like David Sedaris or Cheryl Strayed) are not afraid to be themselves, and they don’t shy away from uncomfortable truths or simply being weird.

This newsletter is my attempt at creating a safe place that would, on the one hand, document my honest and raw journey. While on the other hand, it would help people navigate their paths to authenticity, fulfilment, meaning, and humour.

Because let’s face it. There are just two escape routes for us.

One is comedy.

The other is insanity.

The rules of the game

I am a huge believer in personal essays that aspire to be more than just about the person writing them. Confessions don’t have to be self-indulgent or navel-gazing; I hope this newsletter can be a space to be real and to be weird.

I used to publish weekly until I realized that it doesn’t work for me. It made me think, sure, but it also made me worry too much about saying the right thing. So now, this newsletter comes out “whenever” – as in, whenever I truly have something to say.

This way, it’s more honest.

You only get what you subscribed for.

How to reach out



Email: faldin.sergey@gmail.com

Oh, and if you’re ever in London, hit me up. Let’s grab a coffee or something.

Subscribe to just serge

a space where i spill my guts and talk about the things that matter: writing, running, creativity, relationships, and anything in between. straight from my personal moleskine to your inbox.


Writer, journalist, thinker, runner.