I know everyone in the world is talking about Steve Jobs this week, but I feel compelled to add to the chorus.  I found myself affected by the news of his death more than I would have thought, and not just because the death of a 56 year-old man at the zenith of his creative contribution to the world is a tragedy.  That day as I used, in turn, my MacBook, iPhone, iPad and iPod Nano, I realized how much his vision has shaped and improved my life.

For example, without him I never would have spent a whole day in Austin, as I did yesterday, talking about ebooks and, in particular, making storybook apps for the iTunes store.  One presenter showed us how to make an ebook on her iPad.  Almost all presenters projected directly from their iPads.  I was able to download apps being discussed in real time during the presentations and thus ask more directed questions.

One of Steve’s most famous quotes is, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” 

I am now doing the work I love, but it took me until I was 38 to figure out what it was and to get on with it.  I am grateful Steve Jobs didn’t wait that long.  I’m glad he didn’t listen to the people who told him he was crazy, impulsive, reckless and just plain wrong.  This week’s Gratitude Sunday is dedicated to him, written from my Mac of course.

So I join many, many others around the world to say: iSad.

Quotes from Steve Jobs

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.”

“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. 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.”

Gratitude List for the week ending October 8

  1. Doing work I love.  Someday I hope to even make money doing it!
  2. The members of Austin SCBWI, who welcomed this transplant to their one-day digital publishing symposium with open arms.
  3. The Austin SCBWI’s one-day symposium on Storytelling in the Digital Age.  I learned more in one day than I probably could have learned in a month otherwise.
  4. All of my Mac/Apple products – laptop, iPad, iPhone, iPod Nano, Scrivener
  5. LAURIE – for making it possible for me to get to the airport on time Friday!!!
  6. Gorgeous fall weather
  7. Great meeting with the kids’ school principal about growing participation in the school lunch program and promoting nutritious eating and healthy habits in other parts of their school days.
  8. Bubble bath, followed by flannel pajamas.
  9. Linda Ashman and Jennifer Mattson, for giving such great responses to the How I Got My Agent post.
  10. Finding myself with the Detroit Tigers on one screen and the Michigan Wolverines on the other at the airport bar where I had two hours to kill.

Steve Jobs once said, “I want to put a ding in the universe.”  I think it’s fair to say he succeeded.  Have you thought lately about what kind of ding you want to put in the universe?

Categories: Apps, Authors, Children's Books, Digital Publishing, Gratitude Sunday, Picture Books, SCBWI, Self Publishing, Travel, Writing · Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,



  1. I have nothing to add to your eloquent comments re Steve Jobs – the world has lost a visionary and he will be missed.

    On a happier note, though, since i didn’t get to transplant myself to Austin 🙂 I’m kind of hoping you’re going to do some future posts on what you learned? I’m keenly interested in storytelling in the digital age!

  2. I don’t have a Mac, an iPad, an iPhone . . . or anything else he created. But what a wise man he was to follow HIS road. 🙂

  3. I’m grateful that I read your wonderful post today.

  4. I like your post, yes we need to all keep seeking what it is we love to do. When we find it spend the rest of our life doing it.

    Rock on

  5. Excellent post. I also was very moved by his message about taking risks and doing what you love – and about the “lightness of beginning again” after he lost his job with Apple. I had a writing career with a big NY publisher from age 23 to 43, but I lost my passion when it became a job and my publisher tried to tell me what to write. Now, at 58, I’m back, riding the ebook wave and feeling more exhilarated about writing than I have in 3 decades. Life’s too short not to love what we do! Congrats to you for finding your path, Julie!

  6. I’ve always admired Steve Jobs for his tenacity and innovation. He made creative solutions cool and gadgets that I love. His philosophy concerning work and life ring so true and may we all be so lucky to find a profession where we thrive. 🙂

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