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