STEVE JOBS: 4 QUOTES BY THE APPLE MAN THAT CAN IMPROVE YOUR WRITING
Who can forget the Commencement Address delivered by Steve Jobs at Stanford? The CEO of Apple Computer and Pixar Animation Studios is an inspiration and here are four of his quotes which, though don’t refer to writing can still motivate us to write better.
“The products suck! There’s no sex in them anymore!”
Have you ever read what you’ve written and gone all “yechhhh”? On the other hand, there must have been occasions when you read your words and went all “wow, when did I write that?” Most writers advocate that the first draft must be written fast and without any editing. Doing this allows the inner editor to be kept tied up and the art to flow. This is not to say that the first draft is the best one and must be sent to the publisher as soon as it is written. But this draft is a diamond mine and within it you will find the rare precious gems of your story. If one edits while writing the first draft, the unexpected is not given the space to come to the surface and what you end up with is trite and clunky prose which makes you say, “yechhh” when you read it.
And we’ve all chosen to do this with our lives. So it better be damn good. It better be worth it.”
Writing has to be a calling. The process of writing a book and then having it published could take many months or more often than not, many years. Rejections and hard work are part of the whole parcel of being a writer. What will sustain you in that time? It is the passion within you that will not be diminished and will not rest till the story which is within you is brought out, worked on, polished and then given to the world to read. Be sure, then, this is what you want to be doing for the rest of your life.
“You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.”
It was the time of ‘Twilight’ when vampire stories were all the rage. And who can forget ‘Harry Potter’ the boy wizard who stole the heart of every reading child and adult. But if at the time when their craze was at its zenith, you decided to begin writing a book based on the same theme, your book would be just another wannabe story. Also, since the time between writing and publishing is often very long (especially if it is your first book) by the time your book comes out, there will be something else which has attracted the readers’ attention. Isn’t it smart then to write the story that is unique to you and authentic? The market is always ready for a great, well-said story.
“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.”
If you are a writer you must be inundated with more ideas than you can write about. They are everywhere and the writer’s eye can see an idea where the layperson can just see a news report or what looks like a couple squabbling in the food court in a mall. So many ideas and too little time! It is therefore of paramount importance to know which ones to work with and which to ignore. One way of judging the worthiness of an idea is allowing yourself to notice how you feel when you think of it transforming into a story. And the more you work this process, the clearer it will become to you which ones to focus on.
Which is your favourite Steve Jobs quote?