The Journey is the Reward

On the importance of embracing internal rewards and uncertainty when writing a book.
Mar | 13 | 2012

I just finished reading Steven Levy’s book, Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer that Changed Everything. It’s a great read and I highly recommend it. As I was reading about how Steve Jobs motivated his team to build the Macintosh, he would often say the following:

The journey is the reward.

The team members believed that they weren’t just “at work” or building a product. No, they were changing the world. The financial benefits of the Mac were uncertain, but this didn’t stop them from churning out this revolutionary product. Although the product suffered from some pretty significant limitations related to memory and hard drive space, in many it was nothing short of a game changer.

Think about it: The journey is the reward.

Parallels for Publishing

Writing a book means that you’re probably not going to change the world. You’re probably not going to do a book tour, sell a million copies, be on [insert name of your favorite show], and become an overnight rock star.

But don’t let that stop you.

When I publish a book, I have no idea about where I’m going, much less how I’ll get there. I’ve done TV, top-ticket radio and podcasts, and even cracked the top 100 on Amazon (albeit briefly). And, for all of those little victories, I have had my fair share of disappointments in the form of non-reviews, snubs, and even a negative review or two.

Yes, you ultimately have to monetize your efforts, but fame and fortune shouldn’t be your primary objective unless you want to be disappointed. The journey is the reward.

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