My Adventures in Speed Dating

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-cyber-love-online-chatting-dating-image10470644My adventures in speed dating and the on going quest to find a steady writing partner, which as it turns out is like finding a lover.

First, post an ad on a writer’s forum, which is similar to writing a bio for a dating site. Note: Must entice, be savvy but not a know-it-all, exude intelligence, are serious but not overly, be ambitious and respectful, and to some extent, be keenly interested in a long-term relationship. Of course, you must also be willing to converse at length about the art of writing and your process, you know, the intimate details.

GASP!

My writing process is top secret, distinctive, one of a kind, and reveals far too much about my the precarious state of my inner workings.  Bent comes to mind.

Mine isn’t an exact science and when I am forced to open the kimono and expose myself to a stranger I start to twitch. I liken it to slipping between the sheets with a new lover. Remember that first time…. you’re excited, terrified, crazed, and then it hits you. Once the dress comes off, so do the SPANX, the underwire bra, or worse, perhaps you’re wearing full body armor. You ask yourself, what if I jiggle? It’s a land mind of horror.  Getting naked physically isn’t all that different from doing it virtually.

I don’t have a process that fits into definition. I don’t plan. I don’t outline. I just write until it works. I jiggle.

Oh well…

I hit the POST button and whisper to the wind. Let it work!

Inner doubt rears up, What if you over thought the bio? You’re humor, it’s kind of twisted and drier than James Bond’s martini.

“Shut up!” I say to Doubt. Go play on the freeway.

You’ve got mail!! Google chimed.

 

“I told you nasty doubt, I’m spectacular.”

GAG! 

My fingers shaking, open the email.

“… we could be kindred…

…………………….!

“… I hate reading. HAHAshe says, “I know how bad that sounds, but I really do hate reading…”

I paused, literally, and reread the sentence thinking I might have read it wrong.  I’m a fast reader and often skim over the best parts of story because my greedy little eyes can’t wait to the turn the page.

I reread the words.  Sure enough, she hated reading.  The hairs on the back of neck attempted to stand on end, but frankly the weight of the dye and excess use of hair products had zapped their energy. Instead, they tapped a message on my bare skin using Morse Code.

N. O.T. G.O.O.D. W.R.I.T.E.R.S L.O.V.E R.E.A.D.I.N.D. T.H.A.T.’.S W.H.Y. T.H.E.Y W.R.I.T.E. E.N.D.

My desire to find a writing partner overrode my gut and I pushed on.  I consoled myself with the fact that the world is vast, and I have not met every writer.  It is possible that some writers do not like reading. I don’t like writing book reviews, and I call myself a writer. Strange, but it’s possible. A wave of doubt washed over me and the little voice in my head said, you don’t really believe that… do you? 

Sheez. Let it go.

I sent two chapters from a novella series that’s been collecting computer dust in my archive. I love the story, but I want an editor to love it, and so far, they haven’t. Off the chapters went to my new kindred spirit.

Tick
Tock
Tick
Tock

You’ve got mail.

 

“…Sorry, I am not a “first person” type of reader or writer. I’m used to third person…” My no-longer kindred sprit wrote.

I neglected to mention in my bio the story is written in first person. How could I have forgotten that?  Should it have mattered?

Turns our my kindred spirit and I weren’t meant to be.  Later, over a glass of wine the little voice in my head said, “I thought writers read… you know, everything…”

What can I say? I speed dated, was picked up, and dumped, all within a twenty-four hour period. I suppose it could have been worse, it might have been a rejection letter from an editor or agent.

On a serious note, do you have a preference on point of view? Does it dictate your book choice?

 

Epilogue:  I did meet another writer who is keen to give it go.

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by

I’m a writer and hoarder of one-size-fits-all panty hose. Until the hose fits over my bum, I write to provide an alternative view on writing and perfection.

42 thoughts on “My Adventures in Speed Dating

  1. Great story and loved the analogies. I’m pretty sure I’d have to pay for someone to be my writing partner. That would make me a literary ‘john’ wouldn’t it?
    I’ve always written in first person, but I love to read in all points of view! Good luck with finding a partner :)
    Astra recently posted….So what am I doing with all my free time?My Profile

    • Yes, John, I mean Astra. It’s another experience for me. Me, too, on points of view. I just read. And thanks much, hoping it all works out.

  2. I’ll read any POV but I haven’t written 1st person. A friend I critique is writing 1st person and it is not working out, it’s reading like a script. I write 3rd person, omniscient. I can’t recall ever trying 2nd person or reading one…hmm.
    Chuck Palahniuk’s Diary is 2nd person, I’ll have to check it out.
    Lynne Favreau recently posted….Our Relay for Life TeamMy Profile

  3. Kim

    I am convinced us writers are a quirky, finicky bunch. We like what we like and sometimes we rarely step out of that zone. I’ll read just about anything but I still have some standards and limits. Please slap me if you ever find a copy of Twilight in my hands.

    As for POV, meh. I like third person but I also like first person. With person I feel like I have a better chance at relating to the writer/character.
    Kim recently posted….The Guardian Angel of Route 66My Profile

    • You are right, Kim, we’re certainly odd bods. I won’t slap you if you read Twlight. I was on a boat with nothing to read and had no choice. It won’t light the world on fire, but Ms. Meyers started a trend. And you’re right, we like what we like. Thanks for visiting.

  4. I loved the image of your hair tapping out Morse code — Excellente!

    I’m surprised a person would have a thing against a particular POV. I’m not a fan of westerns or werewolves but if I did read one I can guarantee you the POV would not make a difference.

    • Smiles, Kelly. I am the same way. I’ve only read one western in my life and I LOVED IT. It’s a favorite book of mine. I am so glad I picked it up and read it, not once, but three times. You just never know.

    • Kelly – I just read. If the jacket description grabs me, I turn the page and don’t stop until I am finished, regardless of POV.

  5. I’d heard they exist, but a writer that doesn’t read, or that only reads one point of view, well, that sounds like the hilarious first chapter in a comic novel!

    Surely, it’s not about the point of view, there must be varying degrees of compelling writing across different narrative types?

    I like to read them all and would worry that I was narrowing my absorbtion of language and words and ways, if I were to limit myself to preferring one narrative pov. I think the feedback needs to go a little deeper, it’s not easy to do, but we can figure out what makes us enjoy a piece of writing or not, but then to share it in a constructive way, that requires delicate precision with words, something I’m terrified of, knowing the heart and soul of a writer is at the receiving end :) And knowing what it feels like to be criticized!
    Claire ‘Word by Word’ recently posted….London Literature Festival #londonlitfestMy Profile

    • You’re right Claire, but I did respect her honesty and it was best we parted ways at the start. My reading is expansive. I don’t limit myself to voice or genre. I read what I like and while I am doing it I highlight words and sections I like. I’ve bored turns of phrase, words, etc., from other others. I keep a file of such expressions. Geeky I know, but sometimes I am looking for something and often reading another writer’s words helps me out of my own hole. I don’t think anyone likes to be criticized, not really, but assuming it’s constructive, it can only help the writer’s story. At least that’s my thought anyway.

  6. k~

    Hi Brenda,
    I enjoy reading your writing, which is mostly (thinking) first person. It is alive, breathing, ripe with words that wrap my mind around what you are saying. I enjoy various POV’s in what I read, but most of my writing is done in third person; it’s my agreement with the universe (though I still write in first when it is necessary to do so).

    What I see in your attempt to find a new word lover is that you want them to be able to complete your words, much like a sheet sliding lover, it doesn’t work well. The union must compliment both people and help both people to grow. It is the finding of a person that will stretch your current comfort zones, while you stretch theirs. The object is to write, and become better at it… yes?

    Years ago, I pulled together a group of 8 women to write short stories with. The ideas for each were discussed together in a chat room, culled for the most cohesive ideas, then I would put the story together, and bring it back to the room before the editor took hold of it. We usually had it pretty well organized before she got it, but there was always something to refine. When we first started, I thought I must have lost my mind; the ideas were so varied, the styles were so different, and I wanted to be fair to each of us… when it clicked, it worked well. The important part was our commitment to each other. We met once a week, for collaboration and again for the editor’s twist. It was a good experience for me.

    You too will find what you are looking for, just be sure you know what it is so that you will recognize it when it is knocking at your figurative door.
    k~ recently posted….Masks (Trifecta)My Profile

    • K – I remember you said your works were mostly in 3rd. I am keen to write a story in 3rd, but haven’t found one yet or maybe it hasn’t found me, but it’s something I want to try. Your group sounds like it was more than enjoyable. You said it, when it clicked it worked. I’ll see how it goes. I think my dreamy ideas of finding someone who is more than a reading partner, like a best friend, but more because they too like to talk about writing, and cry over the rejection letters, my take more than posting an ad. As for reading, I still wonder about that one.

  7. I have no preference when it comes to point of view. And, I can’t believe this so-called writer hates reading. How can she/he??? Good Lord! I’ll read the classifieds if there’s nothing else to read. LOL!
    Brenda, I was wondering, too, what your motivation was for a writing partner? Is it for critique? Idea exchange? Just interested. :)
    Wonderful post as always, my friend!
    Love and blessings!
    Martha Orlando recently posted….Everywhere Fun Fair!My Profile

    • Martha – you’re funny. I used to reading the dating classified for story ideas a long time ago. A partner to swap chapters with, nothing to dramatic.

  8. A well known writer once said “In order to be a great writer– you must do 3 things: Read. Read. Read.
    I agree. I have many voices inside my head (all of them from my favorite writers!) Plath, Sexton, Minot, Lee, Woolf, Michaels, Lamott, Goldberg…etc…
    I do not have a writing partner. I don’t know if anybody could put up with me!
    I always love reading your perspective on the Writing Process, my dear B. Xxxx
    My Inner Chick recently posted….9 Ways To Kick Blog AssMy Profile

    • Mistress Kim, I am on the same page as you are, but since posting this lovely ditty, I’ve heard from other writers they have indeed met fellow writers who hate reading. It’s all confusing to me, writer who writes, but hates reading. Scratching my head.

      • Brenda,
        It’s weird….because I also assume that voracious readers must write, as well. I mean, they go hand in hand, right?

        I would NEVER be a writer without having been a reader first.

        Furthermore, I read to fuel the writing process…. For example, after reading Girl Gone, I thought, ‘now I will be a better writer, a better communicator because this author kicked major ass.’
        My Inner Chick recently posted….9 Ways To Kick Blog AssMy Profile

        • Kim – I thought the same, but since posting this post and catching up with other writers I have learned that not all writers enjoy reading. Some find it tedious, even dull. Sad. I confess before I came out of the closet as a writer, I reader for pleasure, and not as a writer. Now I pay attention, highlight, bend pages, reread passages, sign and wish I had written what I’ve read. Girl Gone in my list. I am glad you said that, I wasn’t sure if I should.

    • No kidding, Nicky. :-) In her defense, she was just being honest, which I support completely. How the heck did you know I wort cereal box filler. We’re kindred. I just knew it.

  9. You’re a brave soul to venture out in the dating world. Good for you. Hope it all works out. But I think I’m confused about something: In this post, who doesn’t like reading? At first I thought it was the guy who responded to your posting, but now I’m not so sure? Thanks for enlightening me!
    monicastangledweb recently posted….Lightning in a Jar: Cat’s Out of the BagMy Profile

    • Monica, you’re not the first to tell me I am brave. I didn’t think of it that way. The person who respond to my post (a woman) a writer with a published book and writing her second, does not like to read. I wondered the same thing.

  10. You jiggle into writing – loved that Brenda. Like I giggle through your writing. 3rd person or 1st person? Doesn’t really matter to me – it is, of course, the writing that grabs or doesn’t grab me. Some books I can finish and if you asked me after the fact – I’d have to go back and look to see which it was written in. I wrote my YA novel in both – not being able to decide which way I liked it best.

    Glad you found a partner. Where exactly were you looking? I mean, where does one go for that kind of hook up?

    • But I do, Barbara… you’re right about how subjective the process is. I realized more and more as I ride the agent query coast and submit my short stories. I submitted the same story to two different places, one accepted it and LOVED IT, while the other sent me a form letter – with a firm ‘Not for us…” Go figure. I will send you the link to the board in an email.

  11. This is going to come off sounding judgmental, but I just cannot fathom someone who won’t read a story purely based on point of view. Third person, first person, who cares? Each viewpoint is appropriate for certain stories and not others. So sad to cut yourself off from a good story for such superficial reasons.

    So brave of you to post your ad out in the world, Brenda. I absolutely hope you have the best of luck with the partner you DID find :) Keep us posted!
    Kiersi recently posted….Vlog #1: Kissing and Pie!My Profile

    • Kiersi – Me either, but to each is own. Being the optimist I am, I kept right on moving. I often wonder if my writing journey is more about discovery than anything else… And thanks kindly, Kiersi, appreciated.

    • C – I didn’t think it all that brave. Well I did for a second, but what’s the worst that could happen? I used to be shy, but since I started writing and flogging my words I’ve become a bit of a vamp. I was surprised but I truly respected her honesty. Better to feel connected that suffer, yes?

    • Adriana – we all have our passions, yours is finding beauty through the lens of your camera. Reading has always been my way into other worlds, real or otherwise.

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