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A Reading Vocation

"I Must Read, Read, and Read. It is my Vocation." - Thomas Merton

This is where I chronicle my reading life.  I also blog about writing at Lacey's Late-night Editing.

 

5 Things Ryan Eggold Doesn't Know About Writers

When I was in my parents’ bathroom over the weekend, I picked up the copy of Women’s Health hanging out by the toilet and read 5 Juicy Questions for Ryan Eggold. Here’s his response to question #4:

What’s one profession that you find extremely attractive?
A writer. I don’t think I’ve ever dated a writer, and I have this fantasy that I’m going to marry one; I have no idea why. It’s something about sitting at your computer writing with glasses on. I’m into it.

Cue eyeroll. I’m glad stereotypes about cute, geeky girls are alive and well, and that writers are still properly romanticized, although I think what Ryan is actually looking for is the Naughty Librarian. But since he’s going to “marry one” someday (in his fantasy), here are five things about loving a writer that he ought to know.

 

  1. We don’t all wear glasses. Some of us wear contacts. Some of us have perfect vision. There is no “dress code” for being a writer, so if you like girls with glasses, date girls with glasses. A girl wearing glasses doesn’t mean she’s smart or a writer. It means she doesn’t see all that well. And she’ll probably pass her substandard vision genes onto your kids.
  2. Writing doesn’t pay well. Maybe money doesn’t matter much and you’re cool with that. Or maybe you had no idea and thought we were all rolling in it just because J.K. Rowling is worth $1 billion. Or maybe you like the idea of your wife making less money than you, or of “supporting” her. Which is gross.
  3. Becoming proficient at writing takes time. Your writer wife just might spend less time adoring you than other women would. She’ll probably spend less time doing dishes and vacuuming the floor. She’ll pop out fewer of your children. She’ll be so possessive of her writing time that she’ll begin to see everything in her life as a distraction and in competition with it. That includes you.
  4. Writing is a solitary act. We want to be alone a lot, preferably at home. Get used to entertaining yourself, and also attending social functions without your glasses-sporting geeky trophy wife on your arm.
  5. Generally speaking, we spend less time on our appearance than other women. We’re far more concerned with minds than with bodies, and with ideas than with clothes or makeup. Your writer wife may stay in her flannel pajamas all day. Her glasses may be five years old and out of fashion because she doesn’t have insurance that covers vision. She will probably feel like an imposter every time she wears makeup. Her hair will be wild. She might be a tad overweight. So take whatever you’re picturing in your fantasy, take off the makeup, replace the cute, tight jeans with yoga pants, and the fitted t-shirt with a hoodie with frayed strings. And then, if you really love your wife the writer, she will look good to you anyway — because she will be herself.

 

Look, it’s wonderful to be a writer who is beloved by a spouse. My husband loves me as a writer, because he understands that being a writer is a huge part of who I am. But he loves me first, not some delusional fantasy of some hawt writer chick who doesn’t know she’s sexy because she has glasses on.

 

There’s probably a reason Ryan has “never dated a writer.” We have pretty good bullshit detectors.