If you make things for a living this is for you. If you make things but not for a living, add this to your thoughts if you find yourself daydreaming about telling your boss to shove it.
This is my friendly encouragement to myself and to you: remember you aren’t an amateur anymore. An amateur can take all the time in the world until the perfect “original” idea comes along. They can afford to hide all the things they dont want to show. A professional realizes that we all use the same chords, the same materials, the same methods. Nothing is ever completely original. Part of what you do is your own, but part of it is from everyone before you. Don’t hide from that, build on it, you honor other makers with what you do. You are in select company. Because of what you do, you know many others who also do it. Guess what, the majority of the world doesn’t care about you, your work and where it fits into the scheme of People Who Make Things. You should find that refreshing. I read that sentence twice to remind myself of that. You, however, are original. How you connect to people is how YOU connect to them. Be that.
An amateur’s art defines them. A professional keeps it at a healthy distance knowing there will be good weeks and bad weeks, and they are in in for the long haul. The highs are lower, the lows are higher. A amateur does the work when they are inspired, a professional does it always, incessantly, because that’s how you care for yourself, your family, and your future. A professional shows up, everyday. The balance for the professional is found between making their art and doing what it takes to make the living they want, both are equal in virtue. If you are are/are not using a certain tool, making a certain thing, designing a certain way and its harming your life’s balance you need to figure out why. If you’re being an idiot, stop.
You. Are. A. Professional. Keep going.