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.