Over the past several weeks, I have been dipping my toes into the chilly waters of online dating. Weird as it may seem, the thing I noticed the most from this new venture is how great of an exercise it is for writing/storytelling.
First, there is your personal profile.
As easy as it sounds to write about yourself, it is difficult to do so and expect people to be impressed and understand what you’re trying to relay. The first paragraph of your profile is no different than the first paragraph of a novel or a short story, it has to hook the reader (especially if your ‘cover’ is only unconventionally attractive). To then explain enough about who you are in as limited amount of words as you can proves to be a true test of writing ability. It’s bad enough when you struggle to relay a character’s personality to your readers, try using those skills to relay your own. Do you even know how to describe your personality?
Secondly, if you manage to be successful with the profile, you will either be responding to messages (if you’re lucky) or you will be sending them out. Once again, this is an art form which, in failure, will not look pretty. People are not as keen to answer back online as they are in person. If you do not cross all your t’s and dot all your i’s, they are very unlikely to respond to you. So, how do you say enough to capture their attention without saying too much? How do you come off friendly without coming off creepy?
How do you make a good impression without looking like you’re trying to? All of this considered without personally knowing the target audience. This is no different than every sentence you will ever write.
If you aren’t the most impeccable-looking person and you have to call attention with your mind rather than your face, your success will be two-fold. If you are able to find success, then you’ve got yourself a date… but you’ve got yourself some crafty writing skills too.
Try it out! Or, pretend to (if you’re not single)