Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. —Steve Jobs
On my Facebook account, I saw the quote above in several updates this morning. Though I’m a PC guy and not an ardent fan, whenever I hear Steve Jobs’ name, I think of the source of that quote, the commencement speech Jobs gave at Stanford in 2005. It affected me as it likely did many of the millions who have watched it on YouTube and elsewhere. When the iPad goes the way of the Commodore 64, people will still be watching that speech.
I took a huge professional, personal, and financial risk to start Pubmission, and though I wrote a 75-page business plan, mapped out every detail, and spoke with countless writers and publishers before we launched last year, I took the plunge because I knew in my heart and my gut that it was the right thing to do for writers and the publishing industry. The submissions process was going to change, with or without me.
Most of you who have read this blog or signed up on Pubmission are taking similar plunges. If you’re a writer, you’ve invested a good chunk of your life on a pursuit that most will tell you won’t lead to financial security. If you’re the owner of a small independent press, you’ve taken a leap into a volatile business that has been reinventing itself every day for the past three years or so (much of it in thanks to Jobs and his iPad).
But you believe in your books, you believe in a world that can’t survive without quality literature, and you believe that innovation and hard work will ultimately save the publishing industry.
Most of us will not hit a home run like Steve Jobs did (repeatedly). But that courage he spoke of six years ago, that courage to push forward with our hearts and our guts, will keep us going.