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Lola Gani-Yusuf: 10 Things to Consider Before Dating a Writer

Lola Gani-Yusuf

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In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, permit me to share with you 10 interesting facts you may want to consider before pursuing that love of your life who just so happens to be a writer. Read and thank me later…you are welcome!

Finances may be tight
If you have heard any published or unpublished writer speak, they will often talk about how they keep one, two or more jobs so that, at least, they can cater for their urgent needs on the road towards being discovered or hitting it big as a writer. So we may or may not have a 9-to-5 job. If you are considering a relationship with anyone bent on making a living as a writer, be mindful of the fact that they are likely to experience cash-flow problems every now and then, especially in the early phase of being discovered. But while we may not gift you with the latest designer perfumes or exotic holidays, you can at least be sure that we will pamper you with beautifully crafted words flowing from that special place in our hearts where only you and God are permitted to reside.

Constant need for new experiences/adventures
As writers, we are driven by that insatiable quest for new experiences and adventures because it is through them that we find things that make us wonder, ignite our curiosity and ultimately make us want to share these experiences with the world. Our need for new experiences and adventures is why we are voracious readers, eager travellers and our eyes and minds light up when we discover something the world is yet to catch up on. Our curiosity causes us to want to be a part of that shared learning experience and adventure that life has to offer.

You may be featured in their writing
There is a 100% chance that you will be featured in our writing (well at least for me, this is guaranteed and I make no apologies for it). My family, friends, anyone remotely close to me and even strangers lucky enough to have crossed my path do get to feature in my articles every now and then. My very first article that appeared in a national magazine was based on my heartbreak story (don’t judge me… it was the only deep thing I could use to connect with readers at the time…) Take it from me that regardless of your relationship with a writer, you are likely to be featured in his/her work. Want us to have good things to say about you when our creativity flows towards your direction? Be nice to us!

Very short attention span
It is not like we can’t sustain our attention if it is something very interesting. However, if the conversation is around mundane things of life (which varies from individual to individual), the odds are that our minds will keep wandering towards the next creative idea or activity. For all you know, the current activity you think we are engaged in (whether it’s a conversation, watching a movie, socialising e.t.c.) could be turning into an inspiration for our next article, story or writing project.

Be prepared to be a proofreader/editor of some sort
If we have a tiny bit of affection towards you, then be prepared to help proofread or edit some of our materials. This could also involve having a quick read through to see if it makes sense or not. Your job is to be honest. Don’t say ‘It is brilliant bae’ when you are yet to read the first paragraph. Also, when you do criticise, remember to tow the fine line between being objective and firm whilst still caressing our delicate egos as writers.

Give genuine criticism but don’t tell them how to write
Yes, we have a love-hate relationship with criticism and we can tolerate it to a certain extent. But telling us how to rewrite the beginning, middle, ending or what part to cut out from our article or story is a no-go area. The only exception is if your current day job comes with the title ‘Editor’ and we have actually asked for your service in this regard. Your suggestions will also fly if you happen to be a publisher or perhaps you have paid us to write for you. Tell us what you think in all honesty but don’t think we will change the way we write just because of you.

They need a lot of ‘Me’ time
Sometimes, we retreat into solitude just to get our writing juices flowing. We enjoy being by ourselves so we can relax, exhale and reconnect with our inner selves. We may describe this sacred moments as our ‘me time’ or ‘personal space’. Regardless of what we choose to call it, know that it has got nothing to do with what you did or did not do. Don’t badger us into telling you why we want to retreat and be by ourselves. Don’t think we don’t enjoy spending time with you. Honey, it is what it is – doing what we have to do to thrive. Give us our space to feel, breath, exhale without feeling choked up or guilty for doing so.

They may forget, but they always remember
We can sometimes be forgetful but, we remember everything – what you wore, what you said, how you smelled and how you made us feel. We may forget your birthdays, anniversaries and sometimes how old we are (not sure this applies to everyone) but we won’t forget the colour of the first gift you gave us, your funny and not so funny stories, where you took us to on our first date and every other precious moment in life. So please go the extra mile to create beautiful memories with us and for us.

They are dreamers…indulge them anyway
You will also see us spending a considerable amount of time drifting in and out of conversations. Sometimes it may be what you have said that has consciously transported us to our very own La La Land. At other times, it is because we can be very visual human beings who just have to act out the scenes of our lives before they very well become reality. Déjà vu moments are second nature to us because we have often dreamt, rehearsed and envisioned special moments in our lives a million times before they happen. Go with the flow and indulge our grandiose vision of our life with you which may or may not come to pass.

They are deep lovers
We can be deep lovers when we are in that lovey-dovey zone but every day may not be Valentine’s Day. We can be very touchy and all over you on some days and at other times we just want to take a good glance at you just so that we know that you are there for us. The honest truth is that it can sometimes be very lonely even in our world. But having someone who understands the intricacies of our emotions and behavioural patterns helps make our world a whole lot safer and creates the opportunity for us to return back to you when we are back on planet earth. When we do get back into the love zone, you will find that it was well worth the effort as you will be pleasantly thrilled that you rode the storms with us because writers are deep lovers.

These are the 10 things to consider if you are planning to date or you are already dating a writer. I may be wrong but these are mine. Feel free to share what other interesting facts you feel lovers out there need.

Photo Credit: Mimagephotography | Dreamstime.com

Lola Gani-Yusuf is a Child Rights Advocate, Campaigner and a Communication for Development Specialist. She is an avid reader with a curious mind about life. She writes to silence the ramblings in her head. You can find more of her musings on www.chattymind.com Instagram: Chattymind

3 Comments

  1. Fabulous

    February 15, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    So on point. Nice.

    • mee

      February 15, 2017 at 4:35 pm

      you dey date writer?

  2. Oye

    February 15, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    I had a hearty laugh about the not remembering ‘how old we are ‘ bit because I had thought I was the only one affected by this syndrome. As in, I have NEVER lied about my age ANYWHERE but if you ask me mid conversation, I sometimes need to take a sec to remember how old I was on my last birthday…. ?????…… Same goes for swaying between intense, touchy spells and the ‘relatively aloof/calm yet loving glances’ ones.

    Loved the write-up in all ??. Could largely relate even though I am a lazier member of this (writers’) club.

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