Tag Archives: relationships

Writers in Love

aliteraryromance

I dated a writer once. It was one of my best relationships. Problems did eventually ensue, but professional jealousy was never an issue. We never looked at each other as rivals. Instead, we encouraged each other in our pursuits.

If you checked out yesterday’s post, you may remember the line my friend Russell Jaffe said in jest, “Writers hate other writers.” Well, perhaps, but that largely depends on your personality. Writers can be like dogs, tensing up, barking loudly, and ready to draw blood upon the sight of another of their species, but that’s not true for all of us. If that does sound like you, you’re naturally going to avoid dating other writers (unless you’re a masochist. If you are, there are forums for that…). However, even if that doesn’t sound like you, you should still consider the following before pursuing a relationship with another writer:

1. The usual evaluation. Do you find her/him physically attractive? Do you like their personality? Do you respect them? Do the two of you have chemistry? Do you find it to fun to be around them? All the same factors that come into play when dating a non-writer will apply to dating a writer.

2. Handling their success. If you are at an unequal level in terms of literary accomplishments, could you handle her/him being, at present, more successful than you? What if you are at the same level and she/he starts rocketing up in the literary game? Could you handle that?

3. Writing time. You know that you need your time, absent of any distractions, to write. Are you okay with offering the same to your partner? Can you give another writer the space that she/he needs to produce their own work?

4. Too much shop talk. Writing is obviously important to you. If you date another writer, it would naturally be an important part of their life too. Could you handle the constant shop talk or do you require an occasional break from thinking and talking about writing?

5. Competition. Are you a Type A person who has to be the best at everything? Watch out! Even if your partner is more laid back, be careful of treating your lover as a rival. If you’re dating another writer, you need to be able to share in their success, not allow it make your blood boil.

Would you date a writer? Have you done so already? If so, did you stumble over any of these points? Please feel free to share your experience by commenting.

Friends and Lovers

cats

“Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference. They don’t have to makes speeches. Just believing is usually enough.”
― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

If you’ve seriously committed yourself to your writing, by the very nature of the task, you will have to have to spend a great deal of time working alone. If you’re fortunate enough to be a full-time writer, you may have no reason to come into contact with anyone, other than at readings, when networking with other writers, or perhaps through meetings with an agent or publishing representatives. If you have a job or are in school, the bulk of your time away from your professional responsibilities may very well be spent writing.

To join the literary game, to get readers to discover your writing, to get publishers to take you seriously, to maybe make a bit of money from your writing, you need to be serious about work and make writing a consistent part of your life. However, sometimes writers can take their profession so seriously that they become recluses, avoiding friends, disregarding or not seeking out lovers, and distancing themselves from supportive family.

I urge all writers to try to find a balance between their non-writing obligations, their writing, and their life and the people who love them. You’re not a machine, you’re a person. You need love, the same as anyone else. You have to embrace the love around you, not run from it because you have a “greater task.”

The isolation will destroy you. It’s not tenable over the long haul for producing good writing either.

Make sure that you value your loved ones. In a solitary profession like ours, they can be your cheerleaders and confidantes, but it’s not just about you. Humans are social creatures. Scientists have proven that without love, your DNA becomes damaged over time. Embrace the love. It will keep you whole.

How do you balance your writing, your professional obligations, and your relationships? Have you ever had any problems doing so?