You Can Be A Female Writer And Not Be Like Carrie Bradshaw

The famous fictional sex writer Carrie Bradshaw, from the series Sex And The City (and now in And Just Like That) is probably more notorious to some than famous. When watching, lovingly hate watching, or hate hate watching her actions, it’s easy to sometimes question what Ms. Bradshaw’s life is really all about.

Played by Sarah Jessica Parker, the Carrie Bradshaw character is forever pondering the human romantic relationship through her job as a sex writer. She flushes out broad concepts and specifics, often from her own dating life. The show is meant to entertain us as viewers by having an inside and in-depth behind-the-scenes look at the dating life of Carrie Bradshaw, while afterwards also having a “look” at what she is publishing thereabout.

Smart people who watch this show not only look for the rhythm of kiss-to-press but also what happens after her work goes to print. What happens to a relationship after its diary-like musings are read by New York City?

The show’s popularity exploded almost instantly about two decades ago, and its ratings for repeat show watchings and movies remain high. We can expect high viewership as well for And Just Like That in its first season.

I’m certainly not trying to troll the viewership of the Sex And The City series. I like the series. It’s just that as a female writer who has lived in New York City for years and just basically seems very New York, I feel that there are Carrie Bradshaw expectations of me all the time. 

Probably the number one critique from others of any piece that I have written is: Why am I not a sex writer like Carrie Bradshaw?

Yes, I am an attractive woman. I have caved in to the pressure to dress somewhat as fashionably as Carrie Bradshaw, albeit on a tight budget that only permits knockoffs from China. But no, I would never write about dating life. And you don’t have to, either.

You don’t have to write about your dating life. For Sex and the City series fans, it’s tempting to join a dating website, to have a date once a week with somebody different, and to write about it for a blog, hoping to make a book. You literally don’t have to do this. Carrie Bradshaw makes her writing seem so effortless, but I think for most people it is hard to write about matters of the heart professionally. It’s also a little tricky because it’s a small world. If you share your (even secret) blog with one friend, will it get passed around like a diary at summer camp? Do you want a reputation of someone who writes journalistically about romance? They say never to discuss religion or politics, probably because it’s too obvious to not talk about your sex life to be included in the expression. Carrie Bradshaw is a fictional character, remember, so these aren’t true stories.

If you’re married, you don’t have to write about your spouse. A lot of people say that they tell everything to their partner, and that their partner is their closest confidant. So, first off, you wouldn’t want to try to publish anything that you wouldn’t tell your spouse about, likely. Would the pressure of knowing that their personal life could be published start dictating what they do, what they say, and how they act? Probably the key word here is pressure.

As a writer, you don’t have to mention people by name or make a nickname for them, like Mr. Big. You could be a female writer who writes things that are somewhat memoiric, whether you talk explicitly about sex or not. Still, you might not want to, as they say in Seinfeld, “name names.” If a teacher was a huge influence in your life, simply “a teacher who was a huge influence in my life” might do. Just because you like writing and would be thrilled to have something in print doesn’t mean that anybody and everybody you know would like to be famous, or notorious, as well.

If you want to be a writer, you really don’t have to talk about your life at all. There are plenty of female writers who write about religion or politics without talking about their lives, no less their sex lives. Probably the more famous a writer you become, the more people are interested in your life. Still, you never have to write an autobiography. I sure won’t.