April 28, 2013

How to Love a Girl who Writes.

Much has been made of dating a girl who reads, but what of the other side of that coin?

For a girl who writes is a double-threat: she is well read, yet creates worlds of her own as well. If you find a girl who writes—find her charming, wish to court her—there are a few things you should know.

Be prepared for her to leave you.

Not for long, but there will be those moments where she’s mumbling and she gets that look in her eyes and you know you’ve lost her. An idea, a character, a song has caught hold and she must capture it; she’ll be back. Even better, she’ll come back and tell you all about it.

If you love a girl who writes, please be patient. She can walk into the library and remember exactly which shelf Neil Gaiman is tucked away on, but more often than not, she can’t find her shoes. She knows 40 different words for rain across seven different languages, but she won’t always remember to buy more milk. She’ll have a list going, but it may become cluttered with ideas and random phrases, with future book titles and character names.

Sometimes she will be late because she pulled over to jot something down in her Moleskine or had to re-write something just one more time. You’ll be glad for her attention to detail as time goes on, I promise.

Tell her, gently, when her pen chewing has left a little ink beside her mouth, and make her go outside when she’s furrowing her brow after an unsuccessful wrestling match with words. Remind her that though she loves them, there is a whole world beyond to revel in, to re-fuel and return to them restored. (Embrace her love of alliteration; it makes her happy, even if it seems a bit silly at times.)

She will not always tell you how she feels out loud.

And even if she does, trust to the fact that she’s rolled it around in her brain (and possibly her journal) for quite some time before she comes out with it. Her words are her tools, her armor. She’s best with them when she can shift and spin them on the page. In her throat, sometimes they get caught and fall out all at once—or worse—slide back down and vanish until they flow through her fingers into her next story.

She will send you a song, a sonnet or start a philosophical argument with you. It’s her way of flirting with you. It’s like the writer girl combination of a hair toss and licking her lips. Play along.

Inevitably, you will show up in her pages (hopefully when she isn’t angry with you). If you love a writer, you will be immortal. She will capture you for all time as she remembers you walking with snowflakes gently falling in your hair, or the way you looked at her right before the last time you kissed. She’ll use a turn of phrase—or an inside joke—to include you in her work.

Brush up on your Shakespeare and, please, have your own opinions. Though she’s tickled when they match her own, she’ll love the parry and thrust of a good debate. And if you want to win her heart for good, know your way around a semi-colon.

I’ll let you in on a secret: she likes her alone time.

As much as she loves you, she won’t mind when you head out adventuring on your own, so long as you return and tell her stories before she falls asleep. She loves having time to get lost in her world of words, and sometimes forgets to stop to eat, or shower or spend time with people. The world on the page is as real and important to her as the “real” world. So if she bursts into tears over her cup of Genmaicha, don’t take it personally. She finally realized how to end her story and is going to miss her characters terribly.

If you want to give her a gift, think metaphor—not cliche. Skip the roses and give her daisies. Better yet, send her some of her favorite tea or a book that made you think of her. Give her bits of stardust and remind her that life is much more than just words on a page. Remind her that some of the best stories are collaborations. Write her letters and she’ll keep them forever. Write her a sonnet and she’ll keep you as well.

If you find a girl who writes, sift through all of her scraps of paper, half-filled journals and half-drunk cups of tea and take her by the hand. Gently ask her to set aside her laptop and return to the land of the living—for at least an hour or two—to dance and play.

(After all, that’s where all the best stories come from in the first place.)

But perhaps most importantly of all, if you love a girl who writes, read.


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