A Proud Day
It was just over 3 years ago when my partner Eli first mentioned his frustration at being a web developer. Don't get me wrong. He is a kick ass front-end developer and he enjoys his job, but his dream is to become a professional writer.
He worked in a small communications department at the time and so began trying to take on some editing and writing for the organization, but it was slow going. He already had a lot on his plate and they saw him as a web developer, not a writer.
Today, Eli just released the final episode of a full, episodic audio drama that he wrote, directed and engineered. This is his first published work and I have to say I am beyond proud. He had to figure out casting, formats, directing and a ton of skills far beyond just the writing.
I texted him this morning to say congratulations. Not for completing the series, per se, but for becoming a professional writer. Against all odds and with no budget, he found a way to gather an insane number of people together to perform this six act radio play that he created from a blank piece of paper.
Too many of us confuse being a professional with being paid for something. This is bunkum. I turn to the life-changing The War of Art by Steven Pressfield for the best definition I have ever read.
What exactly are the qualities that define us as professionals?
1) We show up every day.
2) We show up no matter what.
3) We stay on the job all day.
4) We are committed over the long haul.
5) The stakes for us are high and real.
6) We accept remuneration for our labor.
7) We do not overidentify with our jobs.
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.
Amateurs don't show up. They give up when the going gets tough. They expect everything to be fun and easy. They don't know how to work and keep working even when everything is failing all around them.
Eli showed up. When others, like myself, chose to say there just wasn't enough time, he would come home from a 10 hour day at his first job to sit down in his studio and work until 2am at his second job. Day after day.
I hope you will join me in congratulating Eli. This has been his dream for a very long time and in these past 3 years I have seen him rise to the call and overcome every challenge that Resistance has thrown at him. If this is the very first thing he produces, I can't wait to see what is next.