My “craft” is more like Kraft — cheesy and fun, but of little substance and questionable taste.

A man sent me a first OkCupid message that alternated between asking me out and asking me for writing advice (my profile says I freelance, he’s trying to).

Well, your message was 407 words, so I’d start with revisions. People are busy; make it snappy. (This entire post is 100+ words shorter than his message.)

Second, I don’t know SHIT about writing. I vomit out whatever’s in my brain, then shorten it – that’s my “process.” Sometimes I consult a thesaurus. I can’t advise you when I don’t consider MY writing a skill. I haven’t honed any craft — I write what happens. Anyone can do that. So…do that. Start a blog. Ask to contribute to sites you like. Apply for writing jobs.

His profile says he’s starting over, mentions being “codependent and childish” in the past, and now, at age 43, really trying to man up. His message said he probably shouldn’t even be dating yet, but his discomfort tells him he should.

Dude… Respect, for sure, but I am also codependent and childish, starting over, trying to man up, and dating when I probably shouldn’t be.

I can’t date myself when I hate myself.

I’m not posting his whole message because it was honest and took courage, so I can’t mock him. But seeing those issues laid bare straight away is, for my own issues, overwhelming. I know he’s not asking me to help fix his life, but that’s what it feels like. No can do, man — I’m working on my own. Only one of us can be the fixer-upper.

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