There is this thing currently going around tumblr about why dating a writer is good. I think it’s nice that this thing is going around, because I like writers, and lots of us could use more dates. As a writer who has dated people, though — including other writers — I would like to offer some correctives to this list.
The items in bold are the alleged reasons to date a writer. I have replaced the original commentary with my bleak corrective, in lightface.
- Writers will romance you with words. We probably won’t. We write for ourselves or for money and by the time we’re done we’re sick of it. If we have to write you something there’s a good chance it’ll take us two days and we’ll be really snippy and grumpy about the process.
- Writers will write about you. You don’t want this. Trust me.
- Writers will take you to interesting events. No. We will not. We are busy writing. Leave us alone about these “interesting events.” I know one person who dates a terrific writer. He goes out alone. She is busy writing.
- Writers will remind you that money doesn’t matter so much. Yes. We will do this by borrowing money from you. Constantly.
- Writers will acknowledge you and dedicate things to you. A better way to ensure this would be to become an agent. That way you’d actually make money off of talking people through their neuroses.
- Writers will offer you an interesting perspective on things. Yes. Constantly. While you’re trying to watch TV or take a shower. You will have to listen to observations all day long, in addition to being asked to read the observations we wrote about when you were at work and unavailable for bothering. It will be almost as annoying as dating a stand-up comedian, except if you don’t find these observations scintillating we will think you’re dumb, instead of uptight.
- Writers are smart. The moment you realize this is not true, your relationship with a writer will develop a significant problem.
- Writers are really passionate. About writing. Not necessarily about you. Are you writing?
- Writers can think through their feelings. So don’t start an argument unless you’re ready for a very, very lengthy explication of our position, our feelings about your position, and what scenes from our recent fiction the whole thing is reminding us of.
- Writers enjoy their solitude. So get lost, will you?
- Writers are creative. This is why we have such good reasons why you should lend us $300 and/or leave us alone, we’re writing.
- Writers wear their hearts on their sleeves. Serious advice: if you meet a writer who’s actually demonstrative, be careful.
- Writers will teach you cool new words. This is possibly true! We may also expect you to remember them, correct your grammar, and look pained after reading mundane notes you’ve left for us.
- Writers may be able to adjust their schedules for you. Writers may be able to adjust their schedules for writing. Are you writing? Get in line, then.
- Writers can find 1000 ways to tell you why they like you. By the 108th you’ll be pretty sure we’re just making them up for fun.
- Writers communicate in a bunch of different ways. But mostly writing. Hope you don’t like talking on the phone — that shit is rough.
- Writers can work from anywhere. So you might want to pass on that tandem bike rental when you’re on vacation.
- Writers are surrounded by interesting people. Every last one of whom is imaginary.
- Writers are easy to buy gifts for. This is true. Keep it in mind when your birthday rolls around, okay?
- Writers are sexy. No argument. Some people think this about heroin addicts, too.
Alternate solution: it will be pretty much like dating anyone else who likes to do a particular thing, you know?
Anybody who thinks writers wear their hearts on their sleeves has, I guarantee you, never met a writer.