Saturday, May 18, 2013
Ten Things You Should Know Before Dating a Writer
By OFW editor:
Published: July 05, 2013
So some nut jobs think that dating a writer would be cool. I mean, of course your friends will be totally impressed, right? Wrong. You’ll say, “She’s a writer.” and they’ll say, “so she’s unemployed?” and you’ll say, “No, she has a day job, until she makes it big at least.” and they’ll say, “So she like, hallucinates a lot?” Because this is what people think about writers. Either we’re super smart, cool, mysterious folks, or we’re lazy, unemployed whackjobs. The truth is, we’re like you, only better—possibly dangerous at times. But hey, if you’re aware of the potential issues that pop up in every writer/non-writer relationship when you’re going into the whole thing, then maybe you’ll be our forever man/woman. At the very least, you’ll be our source of sex and companionship until we get this damn book finished. So, either way it’s a win-win, right?
1. We’re almost always broke.
Unless we lucked into kickass jobs, which isn’t usually the case. The only rich writer is a famous writer, and they don’t associate with normal, so odds are pretty good you’re getting a broke fool. Also, any writer worth anything is also an avid reader, and we'll totally spend the rent money on new books. So um...don't count on us when we say we'll pay for shit. Have a Plan B.
2. When inspiration strikes, you shall be abandoned.
We’ll flake on you. Guaranteed. Don’t take it personally. We know we promised to meet you at that place, and now we’re like two hours late. Yes, you called and we were all “just give me ten minutes” and that was like one hour and fifty minutes ago. Here’s the thing: Inspiration waits for no man or woman. Sorry. If we’re in the mood to write, or an idea slaps us upside the head, we have to deal with that shit. We’ll be no good to you until we do.
3. You will be forever immortalized in something.
Let me let you in on a secret: If the writer you’re dating hasn’t written anything about you, then she's not that into you. Hey, I’m just the messenger. I’ve written everyone I’ve ever cared about into my stories. Maybe they’re not a particular character, but something of them is in there somehow. So, if you don’t inspire her…well, best keep that bag packed.
4. If you Google us, you have only yourself to blame.
There is probably a disturbing amount of information about us on the Internet. This is good. We want this because writers become successful by being known. The downside is that you’re probably known too if you mean anything to us. You might have a code name, but you’ll recognize yourself. You can’t get mad at us for doing it either, it’s our JOB. Google us, but don’t say we didn’t warn you.
5. We’re sometimes a bit on the annoying side of dramatic.
Okay, so we’re neck deep in drama all the time. How can we not have an episode now and then? Of course, none of us will admit we’re drama queens, but seriously, is there anyone else you know who hangs on every word of every conversation around her? Even strangers are fascinating. As for the tantrums and theatrics that seem to come out of the blue, that’s easily explained. You see, when you’re creating, you get really into that shit. So into it, that it’s like you’re inside each character experiencing what they are. When you step away, it’s hard to shrug that off, you know? So sometimes it’s not really us you’re dealing with. It’s our alter ego. Just roll with it.
6. We’re nerds.
Actually we’re gross nerds. Writing is mentally draining, and we might not shower quite as often as we should. We also have to do heaps of research. Getting lost in various information and fact sites is a natural by-product of said research. So sometimes we’ll tell you shit that you’re like, “Dude! I don’t want to know! God!” And writing requires a certain gross nerd uniform: sweatpants/pajama pants, lucky shirt/socks/hat and some type of ugly-ass sweater or housecoat. Usually these items are ripped or stained. When we’re heavy into a project, we get little sunlight and live on coffee and whatever is handy. Your job is to make sure we go outside periodically. Yes, even if we threaten to kill you. We’ll love you again later.
7. You will never make a good editor, and it’s probably best that you never offer.
Your writer lover may ask for your opinion on his work, but goddamn it, do not humor him! He’s going to get all pissed off and suspicious. Eventually he’ll be all, “You’re jealous of my writing. How can you hate something that is part of me?” It’s all downhill from there, you know. We don’t really want your opinion. So just say, “Oh I know nothing about writing or editing. I wouldn’t know where to begin.” We’ll agree that you know nothing. How silly of us to ask you to give an opinion on something you can't possibly understand. And voila! Happy times are here to stay.
8. We have no such thing as a schedule.
Sure we go to work when we have to, and we feed animals/kids/plants most of the time, but outside of work hours, schedules are a writer’s nemesis. We really want to keep to a schedule and try to make plans, but you cannot plan around writing. Not totally. It’s worse if writing is our job…that pays the bills. I’ve lost entire days man. Entire. Days.
9. We drink a lot.
Not just booze. Jeeze, stereotype much? We find our drink of choice, be it coffee, booze, Red Bull, or whatever, and we drink the shit out of it. If you love us, it’ll be your responsibility to see that it is always on hand. Seriously, run out once and really bad things will happen.
10. We might be crazy.
But not in a bad way. Yes, we mutter to ourselves, space out from time to time and become so emotionally involved with our stories that you don’t know who you’ll be talking to from one minute to the next, but we’re not the kind of crazy that requires medication. And also, you’ll never be bored, am I right? Well except for when we abandon you to write, but for the rest of the time, we’ll have you on the edge of your seat.
Learn how to handle a shovel. Don’t ask. You’ll see.
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