Recently, I posted about someone irritating me with a comment about how they were glad I wasn't writing anymore because, in a nutshell, I'm wasting my time.
I told myself I wasn't upset about it, but really? I was. I am.
I talked to my therapist, Big Jim, yesterday about the whole situation.
Big Jim, in addition to being the absolute best therapist in the entire universe, is also an amateur musician. He told me a few months ago that he had realized that most of the people who knew who were making a living as musicians were playing the same three songs over and over again all day at Dollywood. And those guys? Envied him. Because he could play what he wanted, when he wanted it, not play what the "man" wanted him to play, for money.
Okay, he didn't really refer to the "man". Big Jim has more class than that. Also? Big Jim likely makes a truckload of cash off the crazy people like me who come to see him every week, so playing for fun probably is something he can do.
So. Big Jim may be on to something.
At any rate, I talked to Jason last night about the whole thing and he said something like, "So why DO you write in this blog? People would pay to read what you write. Why do you give it away for free?"
As a huge disclaimer? He's never, ever read my blog or anything I've written. Ever. Except for like, loves notes and assorted crap like notes that say, "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD COULD YOU PLEASE DRY OFF THE BATHROOM FLOOR AFTER YOU SHOWER OR AT THE VERY LEAST STEP ON THE ATTRACTIVE DECORATIVE BATHMAT I HAVE LEFT HERE FOR YOU? FAILURE TO DO SO WILL RESULT IN YOU NOT SEEING ME NAKED EVER, EVER AGAIN! Love you! Chick" So really, he has no way to gauge if this is actually true or not.
So I told him that I had been sending things off to magazines and whatnot. And that even if I ever did find someone who felt sorry enough for me to publish what I write? I'm not likely to be the next J.K. Rowling. That sometimes, the ability to create is enough.
Sometimes, it's enough.
So I'm not giving up on my goal of being published this year. I'm not. But yesterday Big Jim told me that it used to be, especially in the arts world, that being an amateur was far more revered than being a professional. Because if you are a professional, you have to conform, and be commercial. If you are an amateur, there is more feeling behind it. More love, more emotion. It comes from inside you and it's exactly what you want it to be, because you are doing it merely because you want to, not because you are trying to make someone else happy.
And, hey, if you make someone else happy in the process? That's pretty cool too.
But I think it's okay just to be who I am.
I've never called myself a writer. Somehow referring to myself in that way sounds pretentious to me. But I'll call myself an amateur.
That sounds just fine to me.