As many of you know, I wrote The Tao of Dating for Women because I saw so many lovely and amazing friends who were in pain — either because they were lonely or with the wrong man. I was majorly stuck finishing it, until I heard about my super-sweet friend Holly who had a live-in unemployed boyfriend Roger whom she supported… who was beating her up for 18 months.
That was TOTALLY NOT COOL. Properly motivated, I finished the book in a couple of weeks.
And yet, over the next five years, much to my chagrin, all bad dating-related things in the world did not come to an abrupt end. What?!
Now I know that experience is a great teacher. But I believe that sometimes it’s better to learn from other people’s experiences than to have your own — especially if those experiences are of the driving-car-off-cliff variety. Someone else did it, you saw the car go in flames, and now you don’t have to do it yourself! Hooray!
Moreover, scientists show that social learning is the most powerful way of learning there is. Short of watching someone do something right in front of you, stories are very powerful. You hear someone else’s story, and the lesson sinks in.
So I’m thinking if some sweet reads these stories, maybe she’ll be more savvy about not getting into relationships with the wrong people, at the wrong time, or with the wrong ideas. Maybe she’ll know to recognize the signs that someone’s not going to be a good match for her. Maybe she’ll reconsider before committing to a disastrous marriage. Or never let the abusive boyfriend into her life in the first place, because she could spot the telltale signs. Or avoid the bad boy who’ll break her heart in devastating fashion. Or stay clear of the sociopath that was going to take advantage of her resources.
If we can help even one Holly stay out or get out of a relationship with a Roger, I will consider the whole project worthwhile.
The good news: YOU can help. By sharing your story. Then other women can benefit and maybe not have to go through the full, um, learning process that you experienced.
Your stories should be under 1200 words. As a token of appreciation, I’ll be compensating you for your efforts if your piece is selected for the final book (this ain’t Random House, so think enough for a dinner, not a mansion). It’s best if you can make it lighthearted – a tragedy in retrospect has license to be comedy.
If you’re interested in the full submission guidelines, send an email to guidelines[at]taoofdating dot com with “I want to contribute my story!” in the subject line. Deadline for submission is March 21, though I have a feeling most of you won’t need that much time to tell the tale. I’m on a secret mission to turn you all into professional writers, so I’m offering $40 per story published in the book and $20 for each referral that results in a published story.
Once you have a story, send it to story[at]taoofdating dot com with “(Your name)’s War Story” in the subject line. Alternatively, you may call in the story at +1 213 444 6826 via voicemail. Leave your email in the voicemail, and if your story’s a fit, we’ll be in touch.
Get writing and get sharing,
PS: If you don’t have a story but know someone who does, please feel free to forward this email to her. I’m going to need all the help I can get.