Thought Catalog

Things You Should Know Before You Date A Writer

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The whole professional writer thing is the only game I have. To an unsuspecting potential mate, I’m just like every other unremarkable femme with long dark hair and glasses in the bar. But when they ask me what I do with my time and I reply with, “I’m a writer, editor, poetess and photojournalist, who runs one of the top 100 LGBT blogs in the world,” they melt.

I understand wanting to f-ck a writer. Or date one. I can’t blame you. We’re alluring. We’re elusive. We’re romantic. We’re witty. But you really need to know what you’re getting into.

We have no money.

We writers pour our hearts into soul-sucking work for next to nothing. That means we’re always going Dutch.

We can’t help it.

I’ve always been a storyteller. As a child, I wrote plays for each holiday and made my sister act them out with me, each year dusting off the script from the year before and editing it to perfection. My sister and I also played radio, putting on flamboyant personalities, coming up with catchphrases and interviewing each other on a tape recorder in between taping songs off the radio. I even created a family newspaper when my parents bought a computer, toying with fonts and adding photos to my stories, forcing my mom and dad to write me letters to the editor. I’ve always had a compulsion for communication. I just can’t turn it off.

Sometimes I have a flash of inspiration and I have to handle it then and there.

I’ll apologize now for flaking on you or for taking a break from whatever we’re doing to jot some stuff down. (See the above note about not being able to help it.) If I’m in the mood to write, I have to take advantage of it, especially when I force myself to write for pay all the time. Hell, I wrote one of my best poems half drunk waiting on the train while fumbling to roll a cigarette in anger. You just never know when it’ll strike.

You’ll probably see yourself reflected in the work.

If you’re dating a writer and they don’t write about you — whether it’s good or bad — then they don’t love you. They just don’t. Writers fall in love with the people we find inspiring. If you don’t set my pen on fire, how are you going to set my bed on fire?

You can find out more than you’ve ever wanted to know about us on the Internet.

Seriously. Google me.

Writers are dramatic and often gossipy.

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 dramatic episodes and operate in hyperbole. 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.

And I don’t mean crazy in the way people throw the word at anyone we disagree with, I actually mean insane. We’re often misunderstood and deeply troubled. 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 — albeit conducted while in sweatpants on my couch and surrounded by cats — but labor just the same. And we almost never see the sun. Seriously. Take us on a midday stroll or something. We probably need a break from staring at those two paragraphs we were working on all morning.

All writers need a good editor, but that editor is probably not you.

We may ask for your opinion on our work, but unless you’ve won a Pulitzer or something, we’re gonna get pissed if you’re critical of our lifeblood. This works in reverse, too. I’ve had lovers ask me to review their work, only to balk when I rip it to shreds. What did you expect? People pay me to edit their work. If you don’t actually want my professional opinion, don’t ask for it.

Writers are pompous assholes who drink. A lot.

Mainly whiskey. Lots and lots of whiskey. In fact, most of us should just be paid in whiskey. I could just cut out the middleman, be it the bartender who has memorized my order or the guy who knows my name at the liquor store around the corner.

We keep irregular schedules at best.

One day Ill have three 1,000-word pieces due and a feature to fact check that I’ll work on until 4 a.m., and the next day I’ll start drinking with friends at 3 p.m. in a park. Just because I don’t have a job I go to, doesn’t mean I’m not busy. TC mark

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    • Anonymous

      Hehehe, I used to do mock interviews with my little sis. I wonder if those tapes still exist?

      Great article.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mekyambao Mek Yambao

      Nah, I still love ’em.

    • http://twitter.com/marisasaystweet MarisaSays

      “We can’t help it.” Sigh. (Probably a dramatic sigh at that.) It’s true. We can’t help it.

    • Guest

      Things You Should Know Before Dating This One Particular Writer Who Is Clearly In Love With Lame-Ass Cliches About The Literary Life.

      Fixed the title for you.

      • http://www.facebook.com/james.lasalandra James La Salandra

        One is as much a slave to the cliche by avoiding it as one might be for pursuing it. For a concept to have become cliche does not necessarily require that it also become false.

      • Anlon

        … because we all turn to ‘Guest’ for insightful commentary and criticism.

        • Edeson

          When there’s none coming from the residents…

        • matt good

          not relevant

    • Britney

      Don’t worry, nobody thought you were cool to begin with. 

    • Jonnah D.

      It’s me in text form. I love this. Humorous, precise, and simply written. 


      Writers are crazy. And I don’t mean crazy in the way people throw the word at anyone we disagree with, I actually mean insane. We’re often misunderstood and deeply troubled. We have to be at least a little bit mentally unstable, or we wouldn’t be any good at what we do.”

      Yes. Just… yes. 

      • http://twitter.com/Commander_Co0l Tony Fernandez

         wow, you can just taste the pretension with this post

        • catnip

          self-centered, yes, but not pretentious (examine the dictionary definition). I think if you re-read it you’ll realize there’s a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor going on, especially in the first paragraph.

    • http://twitter.com/YohanMusik Yohan

      Wow,  some haters on here

    • Jamis

      “Things You Should Know Before You Date a Pompous Asshole of a Writer” would be more apt. I’m sure you would approve.

    • Anonymous

      Aren’t most writers introverted types who write because they don’t have any other way of expressing themselves?

      Or are a lot of writers indeed “gossips”?

      • Anonymous

        You can be both introverted and a gossip. It’s a common misconception introverts don’t like other people or have trouble communicating. Some do, but some don’t. I’m more an introvert than anything, but I have a very active social life and I do love to talk about other people. I just balance my social life with at least 2 to 3 days a week where I don’t see anyone except the lovely ladies at the supermarket.

        • Writer?

          exactly

      • Love Letters

        Introvert isn’t synonymous to mute. Geez.

    • guest

      Im sOOooOo CRAZY YOU GUYZZZZZZZZ

    • http://twitter.com/vickstahs Vicky Nguyen

      this was incredible and so on point that when i was reading it out loud to my boyfriend he kept muttering “yes yes yes yes yes tick tick tick” and it was such a turn on. lOL.

    • Anonymous

      I ought to be a writer seeing as I fit into a load of these!I always find it odd when women refer to themselves as Poetesses.Is it not just poet as a female writer is a writer?

    • Charles

      Ha ha ha ha. Really? Isn’t the dictum of poetry to show and not to tell? It seems more fitting that you write a poem about this, dear ‘poetess’, than this feeble attempt to illustrate writers. Have you no imagination? And you even tagged in under ‘poems’ & ‘poetry’? Bahaha.

    • Brian Siegel

      Congratulations–you’ve successfully written the most pretentious garbage I’ve read today. What is your purpose here other than to laud yourself and celebrate a mythical lifestyle that %80 of writers do not ascribe to? 

      You certainly are quite the “poetess”….this literally makes my skin crawl.  

    • Writer In Quotation Marks

      SO TRUE I ALSO AM THE WORST HUMAN BEING ON THE EARTH

    • Anonymous

      I can find myself in all of these points, except for the editing thing. 

    • Anonymous

      Phew, glad you pointed out that you’re not a cool person. You had me totally tricked up until that point!

      UGHHHHH

    • Eh?

      You just sound young and ignorant. You are no writer- you have a very trite idea of what that even means. That’s why you’ll end up in public relations, just like the rest of them.

    • Leighton Rei

      “If you don’t set my pen on fire, how are you going to set my bed on fire?”
      totally agree

    • Guest

      hahaha is great! love it. 

    • Anonymous

      Sorry, but if someone introduced themselves to me at a bar by saying they were “a writer, editor, poetess, and photojournalist, who runs one of the top 100 ‘insert category here’ blogs in the world,” I’d probably pick up my drink and walk away on account of them sounding like a pretentious ass. 

    • Betsy

      I work in publishing. I know A LOT of writers. I’m dating one. None are this wanky.

    • Danaynay

      I think the only thing I agree with here is: “Writers are pompous assholes who drink. A lot.”

    • Peter Wilde

      I think thought catalog was set up to accommodate the lesser writers/editors who unfortunately survived birth. Good deed, good deed indeed.

      • Jake

        harsh dude

    • http://www.riatarded.wordpress.com/ ria

      I loved this!

      It was funny, what’s not to like?

      Maybe it was a little pretentious but funny nonetheless! 

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