You Are Already a Professional

“All of us are pros in one area; our jobs.

We get a paycheck. We work for money. We are professionals. “

Can we take those same qualities and use them for our creative practice?

The qualities that define a professional that shows up every day at their jobs.

  1. We show up every day. Maybe only because we have to but we show up every day.
  2. We show up no matter what. How many of us have gone to work sick, or when we don’t feel like it.
  3. We stay on the job all day. Again, maybe because we have to because someone is watching our time sheet but we put in our shift.
  4. We are committed over the long haul. We may go from job to job but we are still part of the labor force.
  5. The stakes for us are high and real. It’s about feeding our families.
  6. We accept remuneration for our labor. We don’t do it for fun, we do it for the money.
  7. We don’t over-identify with our jobs. We may take pride in our jobs but we are not our job descriptions.
  8. We master the technique of our jobs.
  9. We have a sense of humor about our jobs.
  10. We receive praise or blame in the real world.

The amateur:

  1. Doesn’t show up every day.
  2. Doesn’t show up no matter what. “I don’t feel like it.”
  3. Not on the job all day.
  4. Not committed for the long term.
  5. Stakes are not high, mostly fake.
  6. Doesn’t get paid.
  7. Over-identifies with the art.
  8. No sense of humor about failure.
  9. Hasn’t mastered any technique.
  10. No exposure to the criticism from the real world.

If we could tap into some of the mind set that we bring to our jobs and apply them to our creative habits then we could make lasting progress.

If you, right now, are putting or have put effort into your creative habit you’re probably able to check off some of these boxes but not others.

You may have mastered your technique but your not exposing your art to the world for criticism because you identify with the work too much.

Or maybe you’re like I used to be and refused to take money for your work because you felt like it sullied the sacred art of creating.

 

Identify which of these 10 attributes that your lacking or avoiding and make progress to improve.

My suggestion is to start with #1. Show up every day.

Out of all 10 this is the most important!

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