Register Tuesday | January 21 | 2020

Writer Wrong

"I promised myself I’d do some serious writing today but I can’t seem to focus."

I promised myself I’d do some serious writing today but I can’t seem to focus. I keep thinking about this date I have tomorrow night. There’s a lot to consider when you’re going on a date, especially if you’re sorta broke but want to go someplace nice. I don’t date much. Not because I’m bad at it (you’d have to ask the ladies) but mainly because it’s usually a waste of time and money. I guess I’ve developed a fairly bad attitude about it over the years.

Most writers (and creative people in general) are not well-suited for the rigors of dating, I think. Writing is a lonely job and can make you neurotic and introverted. You just don’t meet that many people around the “water cooler” in your own home. And thus you can become a little… socially impaired. That’s why I think the best thing any writer or filmmaker can do is get into a serious relationship early on in their career. It doesn’t matter who this person is so long as they keep you from being lonely. And if they have a steady income… even better! The perfect mate for a writer is someone independent, works a little too much, makes a lot of money (like a lawyer or a doctor) and truly believes in your talent.

I’ve made the mistake of being picky and ending relationships with women that I could have prolonged for awhile just for the sake of preventing solitude. Some people are good at that, but not me. Instead, I’m a single writer who makes no money and lives in a tiny studio in Venice, which apparently are not major selling points to the women out there looking for Mr. Right. I learned this the hard way, after trying out the online dating thing last year. I wrote a witty, charming profile, included a photo of myself, and emailed dozens of women. But I only got a few responses. I continued sending witty missives into the black hole of cyberspace. Occasionally I would get a reply and a brief back and forth correspondence would take place, but after a week the mystery lady would disappear. (And I am absolutely sure I wrote nothing offensive). Finally, a female friend of mine asked: “Well, what do you put down as your occupation?” When I told her I mentioned that I was a “screenwriter,” she shook her head. “Do you know how many guys out there are screenwriters? You might as well write “unemployed loser” and you’ll get the same results.” Needless to say, my ego was bruised: “What am I gonna do, lie” I asked. “No. But put ‘filmmaker’ or ‘director’ instead. Because NO woman is going to devote online effort to some guy she doesn’t know if he is a writer.”

So I followed her advice and changed my profile. Lo and behold, I started getting replies to my emails. Her theory was sadly correct.

Nevertheless, once in awhile I meet a woman who is intrigued by me and willing to give me a chance. Like tomorrow evening’s companion. She’s a singer-songwriter, which is sort of the musical equivalent of “writer-director”. She’s probably broke too. So we have some common ground already.