What you should know about dating a writer.
A writer is a complicated and emotional being. In fact, the reclusive lesser-spotted writer might even be a completely different species. Its natural habitat is most likely a messy, notebook infested, redundant -stationary overrun office. It mainly feeds on coffee, chocolate and other sugary treats it really shouldn’t eat. Its appearance varies slightly (depending on mood) but you will usually find it in slippers, yoga pants and other unsightly garments. Its only natural predators are itself; crippling self-doubt, insecurity and low-book esteem. It is mainly nocturnal.
So what is the first rule for dating this strange creature? Maybe don’t date one. Why...because as pointed out above, we writers are not the people that the media portrays us as. The media has created and romanticized some strange version of us that is just downright misleading. These fantasy portrayals usually fall into two (very different I might add) categories.
Hip, sexy, cool and widely glamorous Champagne-sippers. Sex and the City might as well have been a science-fiction movie and Carrie Bradshaw an alien. I haven’t worn a heel since the turn of the millennium.
Dark, mysteriously intriguing and wearing carefully curated black hipster clothes and little berets while sipping expensive Merlot in the smoky corner of the club listening to a live poetry reading.
But if you do decide to date one, if you are that brave, then here are some useful little tips for dating a real writer.
Yup… we’re probably going to write about you at some stage. Because we often draw from the world around us and use our own experiences as inspiration, you might just come across a character that bares a suspiciously, striking resemblance to you.
We need our space. It’s nothing personal. We can be very reclusive and often need to retreat into our own made-up reality. We write our books from this quite, imaginary place and cannot be disturbed when we’re there.
We have to write that idea down… NOW! Yes, we know we’re in the middle of dinner but an idea has just struck and when one does, we have to go where it takes us. It could be the next amazing idea that catapults our book to super-stardom.
Don’t tell us how hard your day at work was in a manner that implies we sat at home twiddling our thumbs and relaxing on the couch watching Netflix. Writing is real work too, and we would like you to acknowledge how draining and taxing it can be. You try sitting in a chair for 8 hours straight, forcing yourself to move through your writer’s block and figuring out how to resolve that blasted plot issue that has been plaguing you and causing you nightmares. It is emotionally draining work.
We need to spend a lot of time on social media, it’s part of our job. Please know that we are not flirting with some sleazy Latino lover called Juan Pablo. We don’t necessarily like this part of our job, in fact some writers absolutely hate it. But in this day and age, it has to be done.
We will over analyze your words, your tone on the phone and the way you said our name that one time. Writing dialogue all day makes us hyper aware of the way people speak. Often to our detriment.
We are dramatic. WE JUST ARE, OK!?
We are crazily obsessive. I think writing is one of those careers that comes with a certain level of obsession. To write books that are sometimes 100, 000 words long doesn’t just take dedication, it takes a single-minded obsessiveness that is sometimes all-consuming and irritating to others.
We are not always present. We often live in our heads, creating characters, writing our books and running over scenes and dialogue. Sometimes our brains just naturally flick over to that place out of habit.
Sometimes we would rather just be writing. This has nothing to do with you, but writing is not just our job, it’s also our happy place. You can’t compare it to wanting to hang out at your office over the weekend.
But it’s not all bad. If you do decide to date, or marry a writer your life will never be dull. And I can’t speak for all of us, but when we love, we love with that same crazy obsessiveness that we put into our writing!
*Jo Watson is a multi-award-winning author of romantic comedies. Her book Burning Moon is coming out in August this year and will be translated into French, German and Italian. Her books have been read over 18 Millions times online on Wattpad and she is represented my Erica Spellman of the Trident Media Group.