Being a writer requires a host of less than desirable personality traits. Voluntary, solitary isolation. A God Complex. Morbid curiosity. An overly analytical mind. Congratulations to whatever (un)lucky individuals we writers end up with. I hope you’re prepared for the jackpot you’ve won, but is being a writer whilst single any different from being in a relationship?
Pros for being single:
Relationships take time away from writing
Relationships take time. Time that could otherwise be spent with your laptop, vicariously living through your imagination. Singles don’t have to break their flow because their significant other wants to watch TV, or wants company at the table, or any of the hundred other activities expected of a significant other.
Relationships are a source of doubt
Take a moment and stop and think about what you’re actually doing as a writer. Its weird. You’re making up lives in your head rather than living your own. Many will judge you for this, wondering at your strange life choices. Writers who are S ingle don’t have to constantly defend their life choices or the growing pile of rejection letters. Unless you live with them, friends and family won’t be aware of just how much time you spend with your laptop.
Your characters aren’t your dirty secret
Don’t judge me too severely if it turns out I’m the only one who think this, but… Singles don’t have to feel guilty about finding their characters more interesting than real people…
Before you decide affairs of the heart are keeping you from achieving your dreams, read on. There are some ways relationship can make up for all this.
Pros for being in a relationship:
A willing victim at your constant disposal
In exchange for all those times you stepped away from your laptop long enough to join your partner at the dinner table, they may be willing to be your personal writing group. One that’s there for you at whatever time of night inspiration strikes. They might even read your writing! But remember to take their comments and criticisms with a pinch of salt. Since they’re invested in your relationship, they can be prone to unearned flattery.
Writers in relationships suffer fewer bouts of writing induced starvation
At the heart of this is laziness. Or a commitment to your craft that outweighs dragging ourselves to the kitchen. Partners tend to prevent you from writing yourself into an early grave.
More time for people watching
Whilst it’s time spent away from your laptop, the outside world can be a great sources of inspiration. Everyone you meet should be studied for quirks and flaws. Study them and catalogue them for later use.
Just think of all the inspiration that heartache could bring. Not to be cynical, but who knows how much great material you might get out of its demise…