I Am and Will Always Be an Amateur Poet

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First off, I loved that Austin Kleon not only says that being an amateur is a good thing but he also embraces it. We often think of the word "amateur" in a negative way but Kleon says that they have an advantage over the professional. We are all amateurs. I realized that I was an amateur and that I loved being one when I read Kleon's definition of amateur: "the enthusiast who pursue's her work in the spirit of love." That is a beautiful way of describing the amateur.

I am an amateur at most things that I do in life. One thing that I would consider myself an amateur at is writing poetry. I have never had any official training in writing poetry (except lots of reading) and I do it because I gain tranquility through cathartic writing. My minor is creative writing so I will eventually take a class on writing poetry and therefore have some training but regardless of this, I will always consider myself an amateur because I am doing it because I love it and because there is always something new to learn/write.

This is a link to a poetry website where you can sign up for a poem in your email every single morning (what a way to start your day): http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem-day


And this is a link to the Chronicle's website which is the literary magazine on campus that takes poetry submissions: http://www.cuchronicle.com/



LBark94's picture

Keep on writing!

Hey Kate, this is a great blog piece. I think it really captures how we are all amateurs and how applicable Kleon's writing is to all of us. The daily poem thing is also really a cool way to get involved in poetry. The Chronicle is also a great way to stay involved. Keep on writing and sharing your work!
Larissa Barkley

clscott's picture

Hey Kate! I really enjoyed

Hey Kate! I really enjoyed your post! I was recently told by a professional photographer that I should never shoot anything for free because I would be cheating myself. The way I see it is that if not being compensated is a dealbreaker, I'd be missing out on opportunities for myself to grow as a photographer and get my name out there. I like shooting sports and landscapes, but the pay is less stable than it would be if I focused on portraits and weddings. My favorite pictures and the ones that people seem to like the best are the ones I took for fun.

It made me think of a quote from a play I was in, called Hotel Cassiopeia by Charles Mee:

do what you love
not what you think you should do
or what you think is all you can do
what you think is possible for you
do what you love
and let the rest follow along behind it
or not
or not
even if it doesn't follow along behind
you will have done what you've loved
and you know what that is
you know better than anyone what you love
and a life centered around your love
cannot be wrong
cannot finally be disappointing

Valerie Smith's picture

Hey Kate,

Hey Kate,
I really love your blog post. I can totally relate to this because I to, TRY to write poetry. I read it to myself after hours of trying to make it sound amazing, and then later on throughout the day, I look at my work and think its crap. Austin Kleon tells us to share our work with peers and instructors so we can learn and obtain a helpful push in the right direction in improving our projects. Don't ever stop writing!

laurenew's picture

Hi Kate!

I really enjoyed reading your blog post, I thought Austin Kleon's way of describing an amateur as "an enthusiast who pursues her work in the spirit of love" was spot on too. I think anything work that's done genuinely and sincerly is absolutely beautiful, one of the advantages to being an amateur. I also totally signed up to get a poem everyday, it seems like a very positive way to start the day and I look forward to the first one! Thanks for sharing!