you’re Such An Amateur! I’ve heard it used as an insult. I’ve heard it used to belittle someone’s effort. More importantly, people use it on themselves, to describe their own beginning efforts, and not always with personal kindness.
“Oh you’re into photography?”
“Yes… But, I’m just an amateur.”
We often forget that amateur is a required state. You can’t start anything as a professional, you have to work to get there.
I’m learning to play the guitar… Again.
I had an electric guitar for most of my late teen years and college years. I’d putter around and learn a few guitar licks here and there. I played at playing guitar. I was an amateur.
I was always discouraged when I’d look at people around me learning to play, because they could always do something better than me. And professional musicians! Oy, forget about it! They were on a whole other plain. How could I even compete with that? So after a time, and a fair bit of not practicing. I gave up and sold my guitar.
She was a beauty too.
We live in such an exposed world. At the click of a button we can see anyone doing almost anything. And usually to go viral, and get attention, you have to do it exceptionally well (or very, very, very poorly). It can easily put you in a mindset that there isn’t room for an amateur anymore. There are so many people that are so good at what you want to do, why bother?
There is no space for someone to begin and practice slowly moving up the ladder of progress. Or so it appears.
The truth is that amateur isn’t a dirty word, and it’s not a negative state. Being an amateur is a wonderful thing. It’s a crucial rung on the ladder of progress.
There is alway room in any practice for passionate people to enjoy themselves. Whether that be playing guitar, making baskets, or writing a blog.
So now 20 some odd years later, I’ve remembered how much I enjoy music. And I’m at it again. Learning a few new guitar licks, playing some music, and getting discouraged. My how the cycles love to repeat. My primary advantage this time is, that I’m a little wiser than I was. There is always room at the top, and there is always room at the bottom, and there is plenty of room for me.
There is also, plenty of room for you. You bring something to the game that nobody else can, yourself and your energy. I encourage you to find something you love, and embrace doing it. Don’t worry about how good someone else is at it. Try not to get discouraged. And remember, it’s about the journey, not the destination.
Though it doesn’t hurt to have a few kick ass guitars along the path.