A list of do’s and don’ts for dating other writers? A bit of quasi-fluff for Thursday to ease you into the weekend. Now, as someone for whom this worked out spectacularly well, you should probably take my enthusiasm with a grain of salt, but I find other writers (caveat: who are decent people) are particularly good partners because they “get” it. They get the constellation of weirdnesses around the profession, whereas others treat it like it’s a hobby like coin-collecting or metal detecting or trolling Karens on Facebook parenting groups. That’s not to say that I’ve not had my share of shitty writer lovers. I’m sure social and field-based power dynamics, envy, and insecurities played into those things, but that’s not who you’re after. You’re after someone you’d choose to spend time with given other options, and who you respect as an artist. It’s not going to work if you don’t like their writing. Honest. Doesn’t matter how nice they are otherwise. Go ahead, try to ignore it. But come talk to me in 2 years. Respect and admiration are central to any relationship, but between two people working in adjacent fields? Essential.
Respect the overlapping details in each other’s work and cherish the differences.
Inevitably, when you’re dating a fellow writer, there will be a certain amount of overlap in your fiction. Certain details might surface in both of your work—a Shih-tzu puppy you’re petsitting together eating an ancient junior mint that was stuck to one of your blankets, and the two of you frantically googling, “are junior mints dog poison?”