Rules for dating a writer


writer 1

This post has been on my mind for a minute or two. Actually, it has been festering like traditional porridge in a gourd. I cant say it is ready but it is somewhat done.

One of the reasons I had to write this article is because of a certain Mr. X. As you may or may not know I haven’t dated in like 2 years. Cause of the usual heartbreak story. Picking the pieces of your heart is hard when your kryptonite was also your muse. So a couple of weeks ago this guy tells me he is interested and I should give him a chance.

Rule number 1. If you want to date a writer please know they will write about you. If they like you they will write nice things about you. If they don’t they will write sarcastic things about you. Anyway, before you approach a writer know that people will probably know all about you, your flaws and character. The writer may also put you in a story.

writer 2

Rule number 2. If you want to date a writer please use proper grammar and punctuation. There is nothing as irritating as somebody texting something like “ Kuwl hv a grt dai.” That kind of conversation on SMS or WhatsApp to a writer is unacceptable. In such a situation you don’t know whether you should be a grammar Nazi or a teacher to this poor unfortunate soul. The last thing you feel is any warm and fuzzy feeling. I tell you grammar can kill a relationship.

Rule number 3. If the person you are dating or want to date is a writer please read their blog or novel so as to get a feel of who the person is. The things we write give insight into how we think, our emotional breakdowns etc. it is like being given our diary to read for free.

Rule number 4. This is linked to rule number 3. Writers like all artists have fragile egos. We want you first to read our work, and then we also want you to tell us how much you love the things we write about. Our writing is our baby and no mother wants to be told that her baby is ugly. Such thoughts one should keep to themselves. (the guy in question has already been disqualified on the basis of failing rule 2, 3 and 4. I feel quite safe that he will never read this post). If I tell you that I am a writer and you disregard it (it is such a critical part of who we are) then we already know there is no future.

Rule number 5. If at this point you have gotten ticks on all the other 4 points you need to realize that writers love books and good books at that. Depending on our tastes some of us also like trashy novels and other books that intellectual writers/readers do not like. So it is pretty easy to shop for us. If you want to impress us buy us a good book. Some of us are also partial to chocolate.

Rule number 6. If we act a bit strange and act like an absent-minded professor do not worry. We are probably working on that piece that will win us a prize. The problem is maybe when we were sleeping we had a brilliant idea but now that we are awake we can’t remember. Do you know how frustrating that is? Seeing a story in a movie like a sequence in your dream then you wake up and you can’t remember nada. That is why we probably look crazy at some point mumbling to ourselves trying to remember what we were dreaming about.

Rule number 7. I like you but my writing comes first. If we do not write that story it will drive us mad. If you force us to hang out with you we will be thinking about that scene we could be writing. When we say we need to write we need to do it. It is not equivalent to the I can’t see you because I need to wash my hair kind of excuse. It is the I am a lazy, procrastinating writer and if I do not do this now then it will never be done kind of excuse. Not that I am saying we are lazy procrastinators but hey that season of suits looks good.

I have run out of time. I will continue with more rules for dating writers later.

Ps. I hope you are not discouraged. Read why you should date a girl who writes.

writer 3

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Managing editor and blogger at Potentash. Passionate about telling African stories. Find me at [email protected]


  1. am laughing this whole time…thinking of the common phrase these days ‘dating and relationships are so complicated’…jusy an excuse for failing to understand each other….bigups tash…

  2. Wow, this article is very fascinating… It has been forever since I read straight post of this sort…

    In isiZulu we say ‘uyihlabe esikhonkosini,’ meaning, you’ve nailed it.
    In isiXhosa we say ‘uchane ucwethe’…

    Keep it up… I just can’t wait for part 2… I’m a writer myself, but I didn’t know these rules.