I recently stumbled across a blog that listed the “20 Great Things About Dating a Writer.” It was filled with endearing anecdotes like, “Writers will romance you with words,” “Writers will acknowledge you and dedicate things to you,” and “Writers can find 1000 ways to tell you why they like you.”
I understand wanting to fuck a writer. Or date one. I can't blame you. We're alluring. We're elusive. We're romantic. We're witty.
But in all reality, there is an inherent danger in dating a writer that stems from the fact that we are people who are used to dealing with an infinite range of possibilities. In our work we have to be able to think on our feet and be able to imagine a number of angles for stories or outcomes for any problem our subjects – fictional or real – might face. Consequently, our minds, either through training or simply by instinct, can generate a shocking number of ways to deal with any situation we find ourselves in.
For example, one night while out with friends at a straight bar, a guy, without any instigation, shoved me up against a wall with his forearm against my throat and began throwing anti-gay slurs at me. Instantly in my head, I thought, ‘I can either make a joke to (hopefully) disarm him or allow him to continue to accost me and be done with it.' I chose the former. Even with that choice, I played out what might happen in my head. ‘He's either going to punch my lights out or be so uncomfortable that he walks away.'
“Alright, alright,” I said. “I'll give you my number. Yeesh, all you had to do was ask.”
Luckily for me, this diffused the situation.
Another time this can be problematic is if I don't hear from someone I'm dating in a timely manner (which is relative to the neurotic writer at hand) after leaving a message or texting them, my mind wanders; ‘Is he mad at me? What did I do? Is he cheating on me? Who's he with that's so important he can't pick up a phone? Is he in a ditch? What will I do if he's dead? Jerk.' Yep, seriously.
Dating a writer can be a positive trait. Sometimes.
We're romantic. Writers are more willing to hold romantic notions about finding true love and living happily ever after, if only because we have read far too many fairytales. If I adore you, you'll know it. If I'm mad at you, you probably won't have to guess why.
We have no money. People who write for a living don't do it to get rich. We pour our hearts into all-but, soul-sucking work for next-to-nothing that we're passionate about. That means we're always going Dutch and/or you're paying, right?
We like to talk. I've always been a storyteller. As a child, I wrote short stories and scripts constantly. I also played radio, putting on flamboyant personalities, coming up with catchphrases and interviewing myself, family members or whichever friend might be over at my house that day on a tape recorder in between taping songs off the radio. I've always had a compulsion for communication. I just can't turn it off.
Flashes of inspiration can come at any given moment. I'll apologize now for flaking on you or for half-listening when we're in the middle of a conversation or for waking you up in the middle of the night to turn on the light and begin writing. If I'm in the mood to write or an idea hits me, I have to take advantage of it.
We will write about you. Date a blog writer and you'll find yourself bookmarking that blog to see if there are references to you in it. Of course, the drawback here is that dating a writer means that personal details about you may turn up in written form and the writer may write much less flattering things about you if you break up. Good or bad, if you're dating a writer and they don't write about you then they don't love you. They just don't. Writers tend to fall for people we find inspiring. If you don't set my pen on fire, how are you going to set my bed on fire?
Writers are sponges. No matter what type of writer someone is, we all love hearing other people's stories and we all love telling them. We're also prone to exaggeration. We'll never admit how dramatic we are, but expect nothing less than improbable plot twists and extreme character development when recounting our trips to the grocery store.
Writers are crazy. We have to be at least a little bit mentally unstable, or we wouldn't be any good at what we do. Really, who wants to read something a boring sane person wrote, anyway? Not me.
We're actually not cool at all. I know, it may seem cool to earn money from writing, but it's not. It's just what we do. I do not lead a glamorous life. Writing is mentally taxing labor. And we almost never see the sun. Seriously, have you seen me? I live in Florida and yet get mistaken for Casper or an extra from True Blood.
All writers need a good editor. While the thoughts and sometimes mind-numbing process of writing a piece is all me, it's my editor who has to hone it in if what makes sense in my head isn't coming across on paper.
Writers are sometimes pompous assholes. And they tend to drink. A lot. My drink of choice; vodka. Lots and lots of vodka. In fact, most of us should just be paid in bar tabs.
We keep irregular schedules at best. One day, I'll have three 1,000-word pieces due that I'll work on until 4 a.m., and the next day I'll start drinking with friends at 3 p.m.
We need our space. Solitude is a necessity when writing. Don't take it personally if I need to just be alone and have quiet time. Unless you're in the honeymoon phase of your relationship, you probably want at least some time to yourself and time to spend with your friends. Well, writers want time to be alone to write and think.
Writers have a lot of real-life characters in their lives. Drag queens, drunks, creepers, actors, bartenders – I know and love them all! When you date a writer, you can expect to be invited to everything from burlesque shows to roller derby bouts to leather competitions. If you like meeting interesting people, plan on being the date that goes along to parties and other gatherings with a writer.
Erik Fact: Don’t forget to vote in Watermark’s WAVE Awards. Need help? “Fire Down Below” for Favirite LGBT Blog & yours truly for Favorite LGBT Writer/Journalist.