I’ve been told that writers are a difficult sort to get into serious relationships with. We are believed to come with a whole bunch of eccentricities that are at times endearing and at other times exhausting to keep up or deal with. I sympathize, because there may just be a little bit of truth in that.
While I won’t deny that dating a writer or having a writer be in love with you does come with a lot of beautiful experiences, it sure as hell isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Or coffee. I’m more of a tea kinda gal but any form of caffeine should do.
You could blame the large doses of caffeine we are perpetually consuming for the slightly on-our-own-tangent world we live in.
Every day with a writer will be a little dramatic. Sometimes the drama comes in the form of your writer partner having come up with what they believe to be an unheard of and novel idea (humor them? At least until they check the internet and discover that their idea has been written about at least 40 million times before). They won’t stop talking about it, and you will probably be their first and favorite listening choice.
Other times they may feel completely drained of the will to write, and to live (no one in the history of ever has been able to figure out which happens first). They will allow a lot of life to pass through them without feeling any of it, but it won’t last forever.
There will also be times when they’ve met five creative deadlines and want to buy you lilies (it doesn’t matter if you are a man or woman, they’ll say everyone deserves lilies) and cook you dinner and cuddle with you by that imaginary fireplace. Treasure those days.
A writer’s gestures can seem a bit overwhelming at times. I mean, all you did was sleep and wake up with bad breath and bed hair, did they really have to write two poems and one ballad about it? Yes, yes they did. If there are times that you need them to tone it down a notch, don’t be afraid to ask, respectfully. Just keep in mind that they love doing it because to a writer, the greatest gift that they could give you is to write for you. And their love will probably move them to do it a little too often.
And it will matter to them that you understand and are able to appreciate what they write. Every writer has a voice and a style of writing that is unique and singular to only them. While you may enjoy some, there will be many wonderful writers whose work you may not enjoy as much, or be able to appreciate. And that is completely alright. But it’s important that you are able to relate to your partner’s writing. Because a writer’s work is their soul laid bare, and if you don’t understand why that looks beautiful, chances are you really won’t understand a lot about your partner.
That being said, we don’t expect or even need you to read everything we write. I’ve often had my friends and significant others apologize profusely when I speak of a particular piece of writing of mine that they haven’t read. I don’t see what the deal really is. While I would LOVE it if the people I care about read every single thing I ever write, I am well aware that that isn’t humanly possible. I don’t get to follow works of authors and bloggers whom I love as often as I would like. How then could I expect those who love me to do the same for me?
I get it though, it can be a little confusing, all of it. Our jumbled up thoughts and unnerving string of questions. Our incessant need to be writing, filling every interstice with a melody of sharp words and flat silences. The way we see the world is always going to be romantically tinted and at the listening end, that could drive anyone a little bonkers at one point. But that’s us.
We’ve grown up on words of master storytellers who’ve weaved hopes and dreams and love into the fabric of our imagination. So pretend like you understand it, even though sometimes you may not. Do your best at pretending because a writer’s calling is both a blessing and a curse. Ink flows through every vein in our body until we are able to sit down and let ourselves bleed.
The most important thing is to respect that every writer is an individual, very different from every other individual. I’ve heard of writers who write the most heart-wrenching poetry but have none of that to give to their lovers, not a single word. I’ve also heard of writers who will go to any ends of the world to find and keep their muse, who lose the value of their own lives in this pursuit. There are all kinds, let me warn you. Every writer has a different dream.
My greatest dream is to reach the New York Times #1 bestseller list someday. My writer friend’s is to run a publishing house and discover the next J.K. Rowling. My other writer friend’s is to someday be paid to travel the world and write about every little wonder she witnesses. Expecting every writer to be the same way or want the same things is as ridiculous as congratulating a dermatologist for a neurosurgery (it’ll never happen, yes, that is precisely what my point is).
If you are able to hold on to a writer, then do it with all your might (at least, what is remaining of your might after holding onto your sanity). Because being a writer is essentially just an extremely verbose way of being a human. And while unearthing our own idiosyncrasies and shortcomings through each word we write, I promise you that we will always do our best to understand all of yours.