The world learned of Steven Jobs’ (SJ) death last week. I have no intention of entering the debate about his impact, large or small, on the world. Those discussions are for people who have nothing better to do.
Reading about SJ’s passion for perfection struck a chord with me I did not expect. His passion to put beautifully designed, easy-to-use personal computing devices into the hands of the world drove his every waking hour. He had the vision and he recruited people who could bring his vision to life. He never wanted to produce low cost commodities that weren’t designed for the easy operation of the user. He never sacrificed quality for the bottom line. Stories are all over the ‘net about the products he held back until they “just worked.” That was Steve Jobs’ passion.
SJ never lost his passion. His body wore out before his passion for perfection. Michael Graves, in an article Special to CNN, October 07, 2011 wrote:
“One imagines that Jobs, given how much he loved doing what he did, wanted to leave this world exhausted from his passion for his life’s work, for that’s all that would give him rest.”
Writers are passionate about the written word, but it is hard to maintain through the entire process. Original idea, plotting, first draft, subsequent drafts, beta reads, final revision, submissions, rejections, sales. Then, start over with a new WIP. It’s also hard not to get just a little (or a lot) tired of your characters after a while, IMO. The WIP isn’t as bright and shiny after everything you go through to prepare a novel for publication. Passion is tiring, people!
But, when I think of Steve Jobs, I want that passion for perfection. That drive. That absolute certainty and dedication to a vision. I’ll work harder to maintain it throughout my writing process. I’ll honor what I’m writing. I’ll honor me.