After years of writing in many different genres and my limited experience in dating, I’ve seen some interesting connections.
The question you might ask is how writing helps you date and dating helps you write. The obvious answer points to having stories to tell, character qualities to describe, bend and reshape, and snippets of dialogue to reconfigure from real life.
What’s not so obvious is that profile you have to put on the dating sites. You describe who you are and what you’re seeking in a relationship, from something as simple as height and hair color to work and personal interests.
Reading the one side of what men are seeking (I’ve yet to sign up), I tend to start with their looks, followed by height and weight (making me realize I’m a bit shallow, but also aware of the need for chemistry). I move through the rest of their qualities list and then their “Her” lists to see what they want in a date or girlfriend and whether or not I “match.”
This is like creating the structure of your novel that still lacks the creativity, imagination and time needed to add three dimensions to that outline (or dating profile).
Planners outline, while plungers write without structure, not knowing the ending or even the middle of the story.
In the case of dating, I planned a few of things I want in a date, and I’ve also plunged into dating the wrong ones just because they were handsome, or I thought we had chemistry but without anything solid underneath.
Expecting that perfect match – or the perfect story to unfold from that perfect first sentence – can result in dating block. I look at the matches and think, oh, he won’t like me, because I don’t fit his range of what he wants, even if I like what he presents.
In other words, I don’t try.
The same goes with writing. If I expect to write something great in my first draft, I don’t allow myself to explore and see what I can discover. It’s in the process that you can find out what you want to say, and then you can go back and fix what doesn’t fit.
Of course, I don’t want to fix the men out there, just my fear of dating them. To get over that, I will have to let my life be creative and just happen like a big what if, or a big whatever.
I can’t expect everything to be just how I want it, because I had planned it that way.