Do you know the difference between an amateur and a professional?

I’ve been listening to Marie Forleo, over the past few days (to note that I am in awe of her not only because she’s a very clever woman but also because she dresses to kill!), about how to market yourself on the internet and one of the things I remembered her saying was that what differentiates professionals from amateurs is consistency. If you just keep doing something consistently, eventually you get better at and it starts paying off – whatever it is that you’re doing. I wish I could call myself a professional but I have been pretty slack at posting lately. But at least I have a good reason. I think.

As I’ve mentioned in one of my previous posts, I have a freelance contract until the end of March. The sole purpose of this contract is to make some money, money that will serve as a buffer, as a bridge for my career change until I’ll be able to make some serious cash from doing what I love: writing! But now that I’m doing it I can honestly say it’s affecting my mood and my creativity. Not only that it influences my emotional state, but it also deprives me of a lot of time I could be spending to write, hence the sparse posting.  Which makes me think that I either engage all my energy into making a career out of writing or I give up and stick to a corporate career (something I am not even remotely considering at this point in my life!).

Who would I rather be: a professional, or an amateur?

At the moment, I am somewhere in between. I am doing enough not to call myself lazy, but I’m not doing enough to see significant results. For example, I’ve been trying really hard to pitch my ’Love Project’ to a few literary agents. When you’re actually down to doing it, you realise that crafting a submission is at least a day’s work. And then, you feel like putting in another day’s work to send it to the next agent. And you don’t hear from that agent, you spend another day refining the submission. Pitching takes almost as much effort as writing, as I thought writing was the hardest part! Therefore, if you really want to succeed as a writer, you have to treat writing and getting it published as a priority. Somehow, I’ve always felt that a ’real job’ should be the priority, but now that I’ve taken the plunge and turned my back to a ’successful’ career in advertising, my prorities have shifted.

And yet, I’m hardly a professional at writing and marketing myself. How do I make the transition? Do I put in more effort? Do I cut down on ’down time’?

So far I’ve reduced my social interactions and have been able to put in some serious work into pitching. But is it enough?

I want to be a professional. I’m taking this as a test and learn. And yes, maybe I’m not doing enough right now, but in the long term, all these steps I’m taking will surely lead somewhere!


4 thoughts on “Do you know the difference between an amateur and a professional?”

  1. Don’t give up! follow your dream, and yes it is not easy to juggle with work and writing, but beautiful things are not happening with little effort:))

  2. I think there are moments when full switch is the best way to go, when you have to choose one and not the other, because by trying to have both you are somehow blocking your own way. I think trying to hold on to both = fear of the unknown (and who could blame you, we all need the feeling of security).
    I am always very impressed with people who took the chances, followed their instincts and their passions and jump right into it and never regreted it. I can see you being one of them. I have my fingers crossed for you… cos I am really looking forward to reading that book of yours some day soon 😉

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