Thanks to Hot Penguin for the inspiration – 41 Reasons Why You Should Not Date a Photographer. After reading this great post, I found myself agreeing with most of them – but for a writer. So I wanted to pay homage with a twist, and list reasons why you shouldn’t date (or marry) a writer. Hopefully the original writer sees imitation as the sincerest form of flattery. Thankfully my wife didn’t know these before we went to Vegas to get hitched!
1. THEY’RE WEIRD
Writers are word-artists. The rest should be self explanatory. You may find yourself sitting at a quiet dinner with a writer and think they’re thinking about you. They’re probably thinking about their next chapter and which character you remind them of.
2. THE BIRTHDAY PRESENTS WILL SURPRISE YOU
Think homemade poems, stories and cards, but from an adult. No, he didn’t forget your birthday. He just thought a poem was better than “any drivel from Hallmark.”
3. THEIR FAVORITE DAYS ARE NOT YOURS
Like most people, you probably enjoy a bright, sunny day. Writers like days that send you inside – they’re “good for writing.”
4. THEY’RE HOARDERS
Writers collect shelves of books, piles of poetry, newspapers or magazines, and generally anything they find inspiring, even for a short term.
5. YOUR VACATION (OR ANY PRIVATE MOMENT) WILL NOT BE PRIVATE
You think you’re enjoying a quiet moment alone on a beach. She’s thinking about turning it into a love scene in her next book.
6. WATCHING MOVIES TOGETHER WILL NOT BE AS EXPECTED
Movies, TV shows or any entertainment will have plot holes, character development problems and insincere dialogue.
7. EVERYONE ELSE SUCKS
Writers are very proud creatures. Therefore, no one else’s writing is as good as theirs, and, at best, it can only come close. And if it is better, they’re just insecure and you may want to keep it to yourself. Or the argument will go into a future story (see reason #5)
8. ENVY TAKES A NEW FORM
It’s a well known term among men: penis envy. However, among writers it’s called prose envy. Return to reason #7 for further explanation.
9. THEY SPEND TIME WITH COOL PEOPLE
You might be an interesting person with interesting friends, but writers spend time with musicians, poets novelists and other cool people.
10. THEIR MOVIE CHOICES ARE DIFFERENT THAN YOURS
A writer’s movie choice likely includes dialogue-laden comedies or dramas most people never get.
11. THEY LIKE TO PLAY IT VINTAGE…IN EXCESS
They either use typewriters or dress like writers did forty years ago. Like hipsters, but before hipsters did it.
12. THEY ARE CONTROL FREAKS
They will rewrite your memories of events with them to better fit their novel/story/poem/film.
13. THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR OPINIONS
Yet they always want to show you their latest chapter.
14. THEIR COMMUNICATIONS IS SPOTTY AT BEST
They might not return your phone calls or Facebook messages, but you can be sure that if you check their Tumblr or tweets, it will be active on a daily basis.
15. THEY ARE WAY TOO HONEST ABOUT YOUR VOCABULARY
Without even asking, you will know which words you use incorrectly and which words are just wrong.
16. THEY SPEND MOST OF THEIR TIME IN FRONT OF A COMPUTER
It’s not for Facebook or porn, but they can spend days in a row writing outlines, rough drafts or editing their stories.
17. ROMANTIC SUNSETS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME
Unlike any other people, when you gaze at a beautiful sunset with a writer, instead of feeling the romantic mood, they’ll probably be thinking “this would be great as the denouement to my novel.”
18. THEY WON’T SPEND ANY SERIOUS MONEY ON YOU
If you go out with a writer and point out a certain pair of shoes that you really like, you should remove any expectations. They might cost $100 but they won’t get them for you. Instead, they will buy a new MacBook for themselves.
19. MEALS TOGETHER WILL BE QUITE DIFFERENT
Instead of actually enjoying their meal, writers will probably spend the first five minutes Instagraming the dish from every possible angle because they also think of themselves as photographers.
20. THEY HATE IT WHEN YOUR FRIENDS ASK WRITING QUESTIONS
One thing writers hate being asked by newbies, are questions about plot lines and story ideas. “I’m thinking of writing a movie where the girls and guy elope. What do you think?”
21. HOLDING HANDS WILL BE PRETTY RARE
That’s because they’ll have a phone or journal in their hands taking notes for their next story.
22. THEY NEVER SEND YOU THE POEMS THEY WRITE…ABOUT YOU
That little poem they scratched on that cocktail napkin? It’s going in his box of writings. Unless it’s your birthday.
23. THEY DON’T RUN AWAY FROM NATURAL DISASTERS
If you live in a hurricane active area and are dating a writer…good luck! Instead of running away, your love one will probably wait around for the action to happen, just to get some dramatic post-disaster interview or eyewitness account. (This is mostly true of journalist-writers.)
24. ANNIVERSARIES WILL BE MISSED
Think of it this way: if your anniversary and an interesting writers workshop happen on the same day, you might as well forget about the romantic dinner.
25. THEY STARE AT PEOPLE IN PUBLIC
If you catch your date staring at someone attractive or, just as well someone different, don’t worry, they’re not having any dirty thoughts. They’re probably just imagining the dialogue they would write for that person. It doesn’t make it any less awkward or embarrassing though.
26. THEY FIND INSPIRATION IN THE WEIRDEST PLACES
That includes bad memories, good memories, dangerous places and just about any other physical or mental location normal people would stay away from.
27. YOU’LL HAVE A HARD TIME PROVING THAT YOU WERE TOGETHER ON VACATION
Vacation is Latin for writing retreat. At least, that’s what a writer thinks it means.
28. THEY WON’T WRITE WHAT YOU ASK THEM TO WRITE
Think having a writer as your love will bring you advantages? Think again. Writers are very proud and stubborn creatures and they will rarely write anything anyone else suggests, unless it’s a paid gig or a published writer suggests it.
29. THEY’LL REMIND EVERYONE OF WHAT IT IS THEY DO
If you’re out socializing with friends and are having a normal conversation, don’t expect it to last too long. Your date will probably be jumping in with some “killer” stories about a character they just developed or a fight scene they just finished.
30. BIRTHDAY PRESENTS WILL BE EXPENSIVE
Anything under $500 will probably not buy them anything useful for their hobby, not something they already haven’t got anyway. Think MacBooks, vintage typewriters and fancy pens no one in their right mind would want to buy.
31. THEY WON’T HELP YOU REWRITE YOUR…ANYTHING
Your past poetry or a work project might need some improvement and your writer partner should be just the person for the job. Not likely. Their ego will prevent them from editing anything not written by them. (Unless it’s unsolicited, in which case their writing is just better)
32. THEY DON’T LIKE YOUR EMO AND ARTSY FRIENDS
That’s because unless it’s someone more famous than them, they’re not really worth spending time with.
33. THEY HARDLY PRINT ANY OF THEIR WORK
Yet the storage space on their computer is always low because of the massive numbers of poems, short stories, articles, outlines of stories, screenplays and unfinished novels.
34. YOU’LL TURN INTO A MUSE, WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT.
It might seem like fun in the beginning, but don’t be fooled. Whether you’re enjoying a loving kiss or a raging fight, your words, actions and looks will become fair game for their writing. Hopefully they change the names to protect the innocent. But don’t count on it.
35. THEY’RE A PAIN AT FAMILY EVENTS
Whether it’s your brother’s prepositions at the end of his sentences or the way your grandma says who instead of whom, you’ll see it your writer’s eyes. And you’ll read about it in his snarky Twitter stream.
36. YOUR FACEBOOK POSTS ARE FOREVER UNDER SCRUTINY
Your and you’re. They’re, there and their. Lightning or lightening. Anything you write – and anything your friends write – will drive your writer nuts and you’ll hear all about in the comments or at the dinner table.
37. NOTHING NATURAL IS GOOD
Every interaction your writer has will end up told as a heightened – basically edited – version of the event in a story.
38. WHEN STARING INTO YOUR EYES, IT USUALLY MEANS SOMETHING ELSE
You might find it to be a romantic moment, but it’s usually a process that goes on in their mind and has to do with how they would describe every details of your face, body and personality.
39. ANYTHING YOU WRITE IS FAIR GAME FOR “INSPIRATION”
Not only will your writer girlfriend or boyfriend, wife or husband, take something you wrote and write something similar, they’ll make little changes they say “gives the piece a fresh voice.”
40. GREETING CARDS WILL BECOME EXTINCT TO YOU
A writer rarely finds just the right card to express what they express so much better. Instead of wasting money on a card, you might get a handwritten poem or paragraph. And if you get a card, expect a novel added to the inside.
41. TAP TAP TAPPITY TAP
If your writer uses a laptop to write, expect the tap-tap-tappity-tap of the keys at weird times. No, you can’t really tune that out.