Why writing is like dating

Today, just today, if I wanted to write about a topic that really interests me, the truth is, that would be on writing. Not parenting, not women in the workplace, just writing.

I’m not sure it’s all that interesting for anyone else, but if you’ll indulge me for just one day, that’s what I’d like to do.

Writing is like dating – at least it is for me. I haven’t had this conversation with anyone else, so I might be on my own. And I mean dating as I remember it, back twenty years ago – maybe it’s different today.

But back then dating, and right now writing, I do the same thing. I go out into the world, being myself, but mostly as close as possible to the best version of myself. I meet people, I chat to people, I might get a nice compliment. Spurred on, the next time, I take it a step further. I dress up – putting all my best stuff on – and contact someone directly. My target, if that’s not a terribly mercenary word to use.

I wait for a response. I watch the phone. I check that it’s switched on. I give it a shake, to make sure the 3G is working (and yes, that bit wasn’t around twenty years ago). I distract myself with a cup of tea, because a watched pot and all that. I check the phone again, hoping for a sign of interest.

And sometimes, it’s there! Elation, butterflies – the feeling is mutual!

I’m on a high. Which soon turns to worry – what if I’ve over-sold myself? What if I can’t live up to expectations? What if the interest wanes? But it’s infinitely better than not hearing back at all.

And sometimes I don’t hear back. Sometimes the phone doesn’t light up after the cup of tea. Sometimes days go by, and nothing. I wonder if I should try again. Will I appear too eager? What happened to treat-em-mean? It’s perfectly good advice most of the time, but maybe just this once it’s OK to send another message. My first one mightn’t have arrived. You know, the way messages just don’t arrive… So I follow up, and I wait. And sometimes, I hear nothing. Oh. So maybe the first message did arrive after all. Two going missing would be a coincidence… I think. Or should I try one last time?

The pushy voice in my head says there’s nothing to lose – asks what’s the worst that can happen… “Go on, just send one more message”. The sensible voice argues back saying “Have some pride – step away from the phone”. I almost always listen to the sensible voice. Almost.

And sometimes, finally, there’s a reply. A “Sorry, I meant to get back sooner – yes I’d love to” type reply.

And I’m grateful that when I was twenty I listened to the sensible voice, but today, sometimes, the pushy voice is right.

Office Mum: telephone
image: Pixabay
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17 thoughts on “Why writing is like dating”

    1. I think I remember having my heart broken more frequently back then, or maybe I’m better at the heartbreak as an adult. But the waiting, oh the waiting…. 🙂

  1. So then blogging is like no-commitment dating? Like going out with your girlfriends and not worrying about the feedback? I’m not sure where this metaphor is going… maybe blogging is just staying at home in your comfy tracksuit bottoms.
    Maud recently posted…DislecsiaMy Profile

    1. Ooh – I like it. I think blogging is definitely no-commitment dating at the start, when you genuinely don’t care and just want to try different things. Then it becomes a bit “No, I really don’t want to meet someone” in a strained voice, at least for some 🙂

  2. Oh I love this metaphor, and the waiting oh god the waiting. And I also think the rejection that comes early on until you get to know your type, who you will like and who will like you. It’s not quite tears on the pillow when it’s writing, but still that inner voice that questions ‘what should I have done differently?’ ‘what should I change?’ And then, later on, learning to believe in yourself, stay true to your style and that the right opportunity (similar to the right guy) will come along.

  3. I really do see my blog as no commitment dating and I do not put my writing out there other than blogging. I am relationship adverse as regards my writing, no risk, no rejection. Pathetic but true.
    I was much better at dating, and felt little anxiety over the years, until I met ‘the one’. Then I really understood your post, and what I had probably done to others.
    tric recently posted…Do you want to be a better writer?My Profile

  4. Keep writing Andrea. Whether it’s a blog or an article you will always get great audience. I would buy your book. Have you considered writing one?

    1. Hi Asia, that’s quite simply the most uplifting comment I’ve ever read – thank you so much for taking the time to write it, you’ve made my day. I have a first draft of a book written but it needs SO much work 🙂

    1. I think the eager thing is more doable in the writing world than in the dating world, with the benefit of hiding behind a keyboard!

  5. We are so good at procrastinating when we are busy though aren’t we? I am determined to contact some newspapers in November re getting a paid column but knowing it’s going to take half a day or more to find addresses, write the letters, decide what content to send them and yes, wait for the answers, I still haven’t actually written it in to the diary for a half day’s work.
    Lorna recently posted…Book Review: Alice Taylor’s Irish MemoirsMy Profile

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