A few years ago I came across a Facebook meme a musician friend had posted about the rules for dating a musician. It was an interesting read which made the point about a gig not being a date, and not to expect your significant other to give you their undivided attention as interacting with the public is part of their job.
Writers, like musicians, have unconventional jobs. We generally don’t work a normal 9 to 5 work week. Many of us have day jobs. We oftentimes have do our writing after hours, and sometimes we have deadlines. After all, our books won’t write themselves. And while we have a lot to offer, and while we very much appreciate your love and support, chances are we’re not going to be your typical boyfriend or girlfriend. Like musicians, we have our own set of dating rules, most of which will also apply if you have a family member who’s an author.
the rules for dating a writer
- Writing is our passion. It is not a hobby.
- Authors and writers are often introverts. Please don’t mistake our quietness for conceit or arrogance.
- Writing is not a performance art. Please allow us the time and space to work on our craft.
- Please don’t quiz us about our works in progress. If we want you to know what we’re working on we’ll be happy to tell you about it.
- Never, ever look over our shoulders while we’re writing!
- A missed deadline can be a career killer. If we tell you we’re on a deadline it doesn’t mean we’re trying to avoid you. It means we’re on a deadline.
- Please don’t tell us about this great idea you have for a book unless you’re actually writing it.
- If we want your feedback we’ll ask you for it. If we don’t, then please don’t tell us what you think we should be writing.
- Please don’t ask us to make you into a character in one of our books.
- A book signing is for meeting fans and promoting our books. It’s not a place for you to hang out.
- Please don’t brag to your families, friends and coworkers about how you’re dating an author. We’re not trophies.
- Please don’t ask us for free copies of our books for your friends and coworkers.
- Never ask us how much money we made on our last book, or how many books we’ve sold, unless you want us to quiz you about how much money you job pays you.
- We work in an extremely competitive business and we can’t all be as famous Stephen King or J.K. Rowling. Never confuse talent with fame.