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Amateurs


Mikiesboy

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Amateur.

That word usually conjures up negative thoughts.  Like: "They played like a bunch of amateurs" or something done poorly.

The thing is it doesn't really mean that. It means doing something for the love of it, for pleasure.

My favourite quote about being an amateur comes from an old film... A Christmas Without Snow.  i saw it on tv one Christmas season afternoon, while Jeff and i huddled in our room. i was writing what would become my street poems then, and i remember this moment, when John Houseman's character said:

Mrs. Burns is right, of course; you are amateurs, unlike certain pseudo-professionals like myself who insist on slave wages. Your voluntary and steadfast attendance at these rehearsals fully qualifies you for any definition of the word "amateur". What Mrs. Burns and many others are wrong about is the meaning of the word, which has to do with motivation, not quality. Remember "amo, amat, amas", the Latin verb "to love". The meaning of "amateur" is "he or she who does a thing for the love of it". There is no higher reason for singing than the love of doing it. In that respect, you do qualify as amateurs. And I salute you for it.

I am an amateur. I used to write for the love of it, for no other reason.

Then something changed and while i still loved it, writing became something else, or i did - more likely the latter.  People's reactions started to mean too much, my own ego became too much.  Well, that stopped me from doing what i like to do.

Then yesterday, I received a new copy of Aeon magazine in my inbox. There was an article in it that said, feel free to stop striving and learn to relish being an amateur. It said let striving be replaced by fulfillment so the notions of success and failure are erased.

I decided I will find my way back. I am going to embrace being an amateur and write the stuff i love again.

Edited by Mikiesboy

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i had to find time to actually read the article before i could do this
it was eye opening to say the least. i truly had no idea that AMATEUR came from the root word for LOVE
i'm so appreciative that you shared it. i've been really preoccupied lately and haven't been reading AEON when it shows up in my inbox
this paragraph, especially, spoke to me:

Practising invites a kind of intimacy, a moment of mindfulness that we can cut and paste into our daily routines. Once we appreciate that practice is not an endgame, our ego falls away and we enter the experience with complete commitment. Csikszentmihalyi talks about this state as an autotelic experience, the word deriving from the Greek autos, meaning self, and telos meaning goal. Our inner amateur is therefore self-directed. As Aristotle reminds us, amateur musicians define their own goals and their own enjoyment.

you can bet that i'll be paying more attention to AEON when it shows up, and that i'll be making more time for my amateur pursuits
i'm glad that the article spoke to you as well, and that you are writing again

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On 6/5/2021 at 1:27 PM, Reader1810 said:

When I saw the notification for this blog, my first thought was “you’re on a roll today, tim”. 

After reading this blog, I now know from where that roll stems. Lucky me and everyone else for being a beneficiary of said roll. 

Most especially, though, I’m happy for you tim. Writing brings you joy, this I know. 

My wish for you is to remain an amateur. Write for the love of it as I read for the love of it. 

Proud of you, tim, and all you have accomplished. I really am. 

Oh, and thanks for sharing what you’ve learned with the rest of us, because no one is born knowing everything.

xoxo

Thank you, Reader.  Writing stopped bring joy for awhile.. but it's feeling better again.

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On 6/5/2021 at 2:08 PM, chris191070 said:

It's great to see you writing tim. We'll take short or long, whatever you write is brilliant x

Thanks very much, chris.  You're very kind. xo

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52 minutes ago, mollyhousemouse said:

i had to find time to actually read the article before i could do this
it was eye opening to say the least. i truly had no idea that AMATEUR came from the root word for LOVE
i'm so appreciative that you shared it. i've been really preoccupied lately and haven't been reading AEON when it shows up in my inbox
this paragraph, especially, spoke to me:

Practising invites a kind of intimacy, a moment of mindfulness that we can cut and paste into our daily routines. Once we appreciate that practice is not an endgame, our ego falls away and we enter the experience with complete commitment. Csikszentmihalyi talks about this state as an autotelic experience, the word deriving from the Greek autos, meaning self, and telos meaning goal. Our inner amateur is therefore self-directed. As Aristotle reminds us, amateur musicians define their own goals and their own enjoyment.

you can bet that i'll be paying more attention to AEON when it shows up, and that i'll be making more time for my amateur pursuits
i'm glad that the article spoke to you as well, and that you are writing again

Glad you read the article .. i had wondered. Thanks for reading this.

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1 hour ago, Mikiesboy said:

Thank you, Sir.  i hope You're doing okay.

Thanks, tim, I'm doing pretty damn good.

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3 minutes ago, MacGreg said:

Thanks, tim, I'm doing pretty damn good.

:)  i'm very happy to hear that, Sir! 

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2 hours ago, Mikiesboy said:

Thank you, Reader.  Writing stopped bring joy for awhile.. but it's feeling better again.

I’m happy for you, tim. May that feeling get nothing but better until better has maxed out. xoxo

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I really liked this entry. I am not a frequent reader of blogs, but this particular post hit me squarely. Thank you.

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2 hours ago, Parker Owens said:

I really liked this entry. I am not a frequent reader of blogs, but this particular post hit me squarely. Thank you.

i'm glad it brought something to you.  Thank you.

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'I decided I will find my way back. I am going to embrace being an amateur and write the stuff i love again.'

 

There is only one reason to write - because you enjoy it. Even the so-called 'pros' do it mostly because they have to, or they aren't happy. A professional writer is nothing but an amateur that has found a way to do what they love and make a buck off it at the same time.

But take away the money, the recognition - all the above things - and the love of writing is still there.

Write what you love. It is the only way to write happily. :)

 

 

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2 hours ago, Geron Kees said:

'I decided I will find my way back. I am going to embrace being an amateur and write the stuff i love again.'

 

There is only one reason to write - because you enjoy it. Even the so-called 'pros' do it mostly because they have to, or they aren't happy. A professional writer is nothing but an amateur that has found a way to do what they love and make a buck off it at the same time.

But take away the money, the recognition - all the above things - and the love of writing is still there.

Write what you love. It is the only way to write happily. :)

 

 

Thank you for saying this. It really does mean a lot, thank you.

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