I can fairly be called an amateur because I do what I do, in the original sense of the word - for love, because I love it. On the other hand, I think that those of us who make our living writing history can also be called true professionals.
History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are.
I work very hard on the writing, writing and rewriting and trying to weed out the lumber.
To go back and read Swift and Defoe and Samuel Johnson and Smollett and Pope - all those people we had to read in college English courses - to read them now is to have one of the infinite pleasures in life.