Staying an Amateur – Ain’t it Great

Since I messed up my ribs last week, I have been forced to slow down – a LOT. No running, not a lot of walking (yet) and very little yard work. I will live through it I am sure and in another 2-3 weeks will be back to doing more Harold being Harold kind of things.

Is their life enough?

However, this break has meant that I have extra time on my hands and get to go down several more Internet rabbit holes and think about different subjects that interest or intrigue me. As a result I have read a lot more of David Perrell, Mark Manson, Steven Pressfield and Ryan Holiday’s writings or thoughts.

Yep, three of them are about half my age and are in very different stages of their lives than I am. Pressfield is a bit older and someone I have read over the years. Which means the younger ones bring a different perspective to things than I would normally have. Their interpretations of the subjects they cover are well thought out and provide wisdom or insight that I enjoy reading.

Did I say I was learning a lot from them?

Absolutely.

Perrell, Manson and Holiday use what I consider outside the “normal” business or work models and are forging new paths to being successful, becoming professionals in their niche and showing others how it might be done by using the Internet. Not everyone wants to climb the usual corporate, military, academic, medical, artistic or political ladders to success. It takes more than a little resolve, motivation and courage to take what is still a non-traditional path, but one that is becoming more common in today’s world.

At the same time, I also am looking at how I want to move forward with my life since I retired. Their words and work do stir something in my soul and make me think, if they can do that, why can’t I?

Then I remember, I have gone down some of those paths also and while I have had a very small amount of success doing some of the things they have done. I made choices based on who I am and the things I believed were important at the time when I could have done more to become a professional on the Internet. I made the conscious choice to not go any further on those paths, because when it came down to it, I did not enjoy the entrepreneurial life. There were too many things that I did not want to deal with that are a part of that lifestyle.

Still every so often that old “what if I” comes back to haunt me and I start to get those delusions of grandeur again. It is at that point I have to honestly look at the man in the mirror and have a heart-to-heart talk about what becoming a professional writer/blogger would entail versus just writing for enjoyment.

There is a huge difference between an amateur and a professional.

I think this quote from Steven Pressfield sums up the differences in my mind:

The amateur plays for fun. The professional plays for keeps. To the amateur, the game (or work) is his avocation. To the pro it is his vocation. The amateur plays part-time, the professional full-time. The Amateur is a weekend warrior. The professional is there seven days a week.

Steven Pressfield – The War of Art

Now I write what I want when I want and quite honestly don’t give a rat’s arse who reads it – not that many people do. My writing is for me and I am having fun with it.

The idea of becoming a writer who has to also be an independent entrepreneur, is not something that I want to deal with. The parts of being a professional as a writer, beyond the actual writing process do not appeal to me.

My writing is more when I feel like it than sitting down to the daily grind to go where the Muses guide me. For where I am now in my life this quote from Ryan Holiday says what I want to say and puts why I will remain an amateur writer/blogger:

You will never feel okay by way of external accomplishments. Money. Fame. Even respect. Piles and piles of it will never make a person feel content. Having enough comes from the inside. It comes from seeing yourself and your work differently, from knowing that more is not the answer. “When you realize there is nothing lacking,” Lao Tzu says, “the whole world belongs to you.” If you can embrace this, you’ll be richer than any billionaire. You may do less, but you’ll have so much more.

Ryan Holiday – The Life-Changing Magic of Having ‘Enough’

I have been a professional writer a couple of times in my life and know that there are sacrifices and the skills that are needed in order to be successful. While I might fantasize about doing some of the things people write about, when it comes down to being willing to do ALL the things necessary to be a successful professional writer and entrepreneur on the Internet, I am not willing to do them.

The reality is that

I know that I am an amateur writer at best and that is okay.

For me, being an amateur writer/blogger is enough and while I want to be more proficient as one and even have my blog to appeal to others more than it has in the past, if that does not happen, I will still keep writing and be happy with what I have.

Yes, it is nice to fantasize about “what if I”, however, I also believe that the sacrifices necessary for me to pursue becoming a professional writer/blogger are not worth the “improvements” to my life, that attempting to turn professional would require.

Is that Resistance talking?

I do not think so.

My life is enough as it is.

So I will continue to write on my little blogs, enjoy the writing process, get a like or comment here or there, read lots and lots of blogs, articles, long form essays and books to continue to improve my abilities or learn something new along the path that I have chosen.

I will continue to be Harold being Harold and have that big shit eating grin on my face, when I realize what stoopid thing I have done yet again.

Although I have a feeling that I be might writing more about things that I learn from my reading and watching different creative people and what I thought about their ideas, as a different side of Harold being Harold.

Sometimes in life we need to think about when what we have is enough and know when to be happy with what we have. Looking at things from that perspective, I have reached that point in my life, where I am happy with the life that I have and while it might not be what others want, it is one that I am enjoying.

Isn’t that what life is all about?

Welcome to Harold being Harold – that damned amateur blogger, who doesn’t take his writing all that seriously, but sure is having a good time with it.

3 Comments

  1. Loved this. I know of the personalities you’ve mentioned, and have even read their books, but didn’t think to check their blogs. Now I have an awesome reading list to catch up on.

    You have a very professional-looking website, and the way you structure and format your essays make for good reading, so I’m very surprised you’re actually refraining from going all out. Anyway, I’m glad I stumbled across this post. All the best to you, Harold!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I have a feeling you will be reading for a while, they all have done a lot of writing and then they have links to other great blogs and articles in their blogs, which will lead you down even more rabbit holes. 🙂 The website is pretty much stock WordPress.com with a couple of touches on the side. I have been there done the professional blogger/writer routine and while I loved the writing part, the other non-writing parts are too stressful and not fun :-). Thanks again.

      Like

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