10 things you need to know before you date a writer

Writer’s really do a need a label to warn any potential suitors about the supermassive black hole they are about to step into. Because once you get sucked in, there’s no way you’ll be leaving.

1. Some people will wonder if you even have a boyfriend/girlfriend/partner

When a writer is in the middle of a novel they will often become a hermit, sheltering in their study wrapped in a blanket, with coffee in one hand, and chocolate in the other. While you may notice that they might not necessarily be writing (in fact they might just be staring at the screen) don’t ever try to coax them out of their writing-coma to attend a party or other social gathering. They won’t be interested. Let them be. Soon they will emerge and be ready to mingle.

2. While they display hermit like behaviour, they are not hermits

Their love of writing often forces writers to shelter indoors for long periods of time, skin growing pale from lack of sunlight, eyes red and unfocused, hair fuzzy and unkempt. But remember, underneath their cloak of writing insomnia, writers are individuals too. Some of them love the outdoors and lament the label thrust upon them as ‘indoorsy people’ or ‘computer nerds’.  Most of them are as outgoing as the next person, and if you saw one out and about while in-between novels, you might never guess who or what they are: temporary cave people with a passion that forces them underground.

3. You will need to become acquainted with either coffee or chocolate

Coffee and chocolate are the lifeblood of a writer. If you are a fan of neither, be prepared to become accustomed to the fresh scent of roasting coffee, or the splash of coffee bags all over your white kitchen bench. Late night runs to the store for chocolate are mandatory unless you want to unleash a raging beast.

4. You won’t get any sleep

Some writer’s wake up at 5am so they can get their 1,000 words done before the kids get up, others are night owls and will stay up well past 3am, at which time they will violently shake you awake to say: ‘I just did 5,000 words, high-five!’ Whichever type they are, unless you sleep like a log, you will need to adapt to a new sleeping pattern for life.

5. Family and friends won’t understand why you are dating a writer

Some see writers as lazy and dependent on others for food and shelter, while this is sometimes true, writers should never be stereotyped. Unfortunately, while you may be unendingly proud of your new writer boyfriend/girlfriend/partner, your family may not share the same pride and may frown on their lack of success or income.

6. Don’t let them know you are also thinking of writing a novel

Most people you come across have a ‘novel in them’. As only a writer knows, sitting down and writing and finishing a novel will be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. Only once you’re actively working on your novel will you be free to tell them your aspirations.

7. One day they will slyly ask if you want to read their latest story

Don’t question your good fortune, simply relish in the bliss that your writer has decided they trust you enough to read their work. But whatever you do, never pester them for a peek at their latest novel or attempt to read their work without permission. Letting other people read your writing is an incredibly vulnerable thing to do, as writers usually write from the heart and leave a little piece of their soul in every world they create.  If you unnecessarily criticise that bit of their soul, it can be very damaging. Lastly, never, ever ask them when they expect to finish their novel. This is relationship ending material.

8. Writers lead a flexible- hippie- drifter-like life

One of the biggest bonuses of shacking up with a writer is that they can work from anywhere. Writers are essentially their own boss, and they love their flexible life too. There are many adventures to be had when living with a writer! No 9-5 restrictions to adhere to and if you’re also your own boss, you’ll be free to take extended leaves to the beach, or head up to the mountains for a romantic getaway at the last minute. As long as they can take their laptop with them (and any necessary coffee supplies), you’ll be laughing.

9. You might not appear to be number one, but they still love you dearly

Like surfers, writers have a passion that can often make you doubt their love for you. This isn’t true, but sometimes writer’s will need their space while writing, so make sure you give them all the time they need to get their daily writing quota done for the day. Don’t forget, they will always come back to you. There’s nothing more refreshing to a writer then to emerge from the cave with a loving partner waiting with a cup of coffee.

10. They will always need you for one very important reason

Rejection. It stings and is a constant part of writing life. Sending countless queries off to agents and emails to publishers is a tiring but essential part of the writing life. Also, receiving no reply to a query can be just as painful and soul destroying as a rejection email/letter. Everyone knows the story of how J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter was rejected by 11 publishers. But have you heard of the recent story of an unpublished writer who was rejected 72 times? This is normal. However, all the rejection will sting a little less simply having you there by their side to inspire, encourage and motivate them. Tell them time and time again: they will be a published author one day, they will. Even if they have to go down the self-publishing route.

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