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|Gina Stewart • 9/25/14|
You’re ready to sit and write your online dating profile. Well you’re not sure you feel ready, but you know you have to do it.
You take a deep breath, power up the familiar glow and stare at that blank screen.
That blinking cursor mocks you, like fingers tapping on a desk, asking when you’re going to write something.
First of all, just like you can imagine more than one way to murder your ever-yelling neighbors, there’s no singular way to go about writing a profile.
However, I get you don’t always want to be thrown into the deep end of a pool to figure out how to swim.
For this exercise, I’m going to take you through one of the ways I write profiles for clients.
Copy the format of the written profile of the site you’re using to a Word document. This way you have the prompts ready and you can write them without feeling pressured to finish and publish it.
“Write drunk; edit sober.” ~ Ernest Hemingway
“Write drunk; edit sober. Wait. Read it again.” ~ Gina Stewart
Clearly, I am on par with Hemingway as a writer, which is why I love this quote. Oh, no? Well at least I have my sense of humor.
Anyway, while I won’t expressly advocate drinking whilst working on your profile (but it can help), I will say the spirit of this quote is one I embrace.
When I first sit to write profiles or articles, I destroy that digital piece of paper by making it my digital dumping grounds.
Start with a general umbrella idea and just start typing everything out: what you know you want to say, what you think you want to say and everything else that comes to mind.
Pour out all the thoughts in your head. Half-baked facts, ideas, thoughts all get slewed on there.
If you can’t think of exactly how you want to express something, just write how you sort of want to say it. Order and structure have no place.
Place no judgment on anything you type. Even if it sounds silly as it starts to roll off your finger tips, just let it keep rolling. Slop it out there like you’re a rambling drunk.
Remember, it’s always easier to delete than it is to create, so while you’re in creation mode, just let those things come out as much as possible.
Never edit yourself as you write. Don’t feel like you have to have it planned out before you write. Just start writing.
“Ultimately, your profile isn’t just about
you. It’s about how others will react to you.”
Once you’ve written a bunch of stuff and feel kind of tired and tapped out, then go away.
Put your mind on something else: sometimes it’s another project, sometimes it’s going out to dinner, sometimes it’s taking a walk. Whatever.
Clear the space of where your head was just at for a while. Create that “sobriety.”
Then after some time has passed, go back and start moving what you’ve written around so it’s in a more coherent order. And that’s where we start the “sober edit.”
Put like thoughts with like thoughts and create some sense out of what is on the page.
Rephrase things that seem strange. Add little tidbits to flesh out an idea.
Oftentimes there are things you won’t use because they don’t tie in well with the theme or flow.
You’ll probably delete most things. That’s OK. Editing takes more time than writing.
Give it a minimum of a day before you publish your online dating profile to the world.
Have you ever heard if you have highly charged emotions toward a lover, you should write your thoughts down and then wait at least 24 hours before you give it to them?
Do that. Wait at least 24 hours before you even look at those words again.
You want your eyes as fresh as possible before you go back and give it another read.
Your mental state changes and what sounds great Monday can read ridiculous on Tuesday.
As you re-read, ask yourself, “Does it all still make sense? Does it ring true? Does it need a little tweak but otherwise express how I feel?”
If yes, hurray! If no, you’ll know exactly where it isn’t fitting right and you’ll edit it again. If it’s major edit, give it one more day before you send.
I promise you’ll want to wait one more day. You need that fresh mind again.
Once you think you love it, you must re-read your profile again, but not as yourself.
I want you to read it and pretend you’re your dream date – that person you want reading your profile and sending you an email.
How do you sound? Do you accomplish what you set out to accomplish in telling about yourself? What could be misconstrued?
What could come across as unflattering? Do you seem like the type of person they would want to go out with?
Never forget you’re not just writing a profile to write a profile. You’re trying to get a date.
Ultimately, your profile isn’t just about you. It’s about how others will react to you.
If you need to change things to reflect this, then do it.
Readers, what helped you when you wrote your online dating profile?
Photo source: indiereader.com.