Someone out there once had this idea –probably to get that girl he wanted so much– to write about how, if a writer falls in love with you, you will become immortal because there will be texts, poems, monographs –a million and one words– devoted to you. As well as other very sweet, mushy-gushy things I am quite uneasy with. Perhaps it is because the notion of me vomiting the butterflies in my stomach has become quite appealing; especially after reading a bit too many poststructuralist philosophers. Or perhaps that today’s article is about how it really is to approach, date, or even fall in love with, a genuine writer, and not a mediocre wannabe that pretends to write just to get the lover that are interested in that kind of people.
The fact that a person writes well, is bound to mean one thing for sure: that this person is trouble. Real trouble. For you and for themselves.
First of all, let’s break down the myth that says a writer is an attractive person you’ll instantly fall in love with. Hon, if that’s the notion you’ve got, you’re in for a surprise. They are nothing like those film characters, where the writers are played by world-class actors and top models. You will very rarely see a well-built writer; they tend to not have the ideal bodies or looks – which, of course, might be slightly different for those that exist in real life. And that goes for writers of both genders, despite using a male writer as a case study here. If you reverse the genders, everything equally applies to women that write – and who are good at it, not just pretentious faux intellectuals.
The fact that someone writes well, by no means guarantees that this person will be able to speak as eloquently and as intricately as they write. I know this might seem absurd to you, but think about it in other terms; and in other professions. How many football players have you seen or heard being avid speakers of their language, or able to present their papers at academic conferences? They are good at one thing; but certainly not in everything.
Why should writers be any different? You might think it’s because they deal with words, but surprisingly, written discourse is much different than oral conversation. The first will give you time to think, to revise and rewrite, to improve and edit, to adequately and beautifully present what you want to say.
As for the other, well, ever felt that in a certain occasion you could have said something witty that did not occur to you at that point? That’s what it feels like to be a writer in most cases. With notable exceptions of course, but you get my point.
Finally, as you might have already guessed, loving such a person is not a walk in the park. Writers live in their own world, and they are hardly ever likely to leave it. And they most certainly will not for just anyone and everyone.
That means that, in order to flirt with such person, you’ll probably need to go and tell them, as Neil Gaiman once wrote, that you are actually flirting with them, or give them a card that says so. Trust me, they’ll appreciate it. Sadly, the world within which writers live is a lonely one. You might feel excluded, even lonely, or that your writer-lover does not care about you; but that is simply not true.
Sometimes all writers need is for someone to state the obvious for them. For, the obvious for a writer is so overlooked, that sometimes WE forget that it’s even there.
Yes, the love of a real writer is confusing; and loving them back is frustrating. It’s not easy for someone to put up with middle-of-the-night sudden inspiration, muttering as they try to figure out the right wording to express what’s trapped in their mind, or even the lost gaze they have as they stare past you sometimes. It’s not that they don’t love you back; they’re artists, and in the mind of artists, when they love you, nothing can ever be good enough to do you justice, no words can ever describe the perfection they see in you. But that’s how you know that they’re the real deal; that their love is the real deal.
Love is all a writer needs to flourish; despite the fact that their best work is created in the depths of misery.