Rule #1: Take things slow. We are complex (which is code for difficult sometimes). We have layers, and we hide behind each of them. Behind our characters, behind our lines of poetry, behind the narration in our heads. (No, we’re not crazy. Not too crazy, anyway.) But to love us, you have to scratch at the surface, pull each layer back, then we’ll fall. Suddenly. All at once. (Be prepared).
Rule #2: Try to understand us. We don’t always make sense, but our writing will. (So you should probably read it.)
Rule #3: Give us plenty of space. We like to breathe, to think, (AKA: overthink) and reflect. It doesn’t mean we don’t love you. We just value our alone time just as much as our you-and-me time.
Rule #4: Listen to us when we’re inspired. And even if we talk your ear off, for the sake of our (and your) sanity, let us.
Rule #5: Tell us sweet nothings. And sweet everythings. And words in-between. Tell us about your days, your job, your life. Tell us stories about the person you used to be. Tell us dreams about who you want to become. This motivates us, makes us love you even more, and will probably weave its way into one of our characters.
Rule #6: Allow yourself to be vulnerable. Let us pick at the best pieces of you and love each of them.
Rule #7: Challenge us. Don’t be a stock character in one of our stories, but make us think. Let us learn from you, grow with you, and become better alongside you.
Rule #8: Read what we write. (Refer to Rule #2) Ask us what we’re writing about. But most important: read. And if you don’t understand, then ask. We love to talk about what we do. And we love making you a part of it.
Rule #9: Inspire us. With your thoughts and opinions, with the last thing you heard or read, or just with your random ideas. (You’re more creative then you think, by the way.)
Rule #10: Accept (and appreciate) that we are passionate and emotional. And never give us crap for this. Ever.
Rule #11: Engage in conversations. With us, with our crazy writer-friends, with our mutual friends, and with our families. Be an active part of our lives and what we talk about. It will bring us closer. (And then you’ll see more love poems. Guaranteed.)
Rule #12: Forgive us. For the snippets of you that find their way into a plot line, for the secrets you’ve whispered that somehow made it to the page. We’re passionate about both things—our words and you—sometimes we can’t keep them apart.
Rule #13: Love us. When we’re down, when we can’t find the right words, when we’re stressed with deadlines, when we’re uninspired. Give us kisses and hugs, back rubs, a book of poems, or even just your hand. Love opens our heart. And our heart unlocks our words.
Rule #14: Believe in us. Even when we aren’t making the big bucks (because we most likely won’t) and more importantly, when we don’t believe in ourselves. You’re our lifeline. Even if we don’t actually tell you that.
Rule #15: Fight with us. Tell us when we’re wrong. Argue when you’re right. You’ll teach us about love and its challenges. You’ll make us stronger, brain and heart. (And you’ll give us more things to write about.)
Rule #16: And give yourself some credit. We’re a tough breed. But we have big hearts. And we love you. Just know that even if our brains are filled with words most of the time, a good chunk of those words are about you. And every day we’re writing our love story—real, and on the page.