[T]hree things—autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward—are, most people agree, the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying. It is not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between nine and five. It’s whether our works fulfills us. …Work that fulfills those three criteria is meaningful.
Over and over again on websites and in personal correspondence, I hear writers who have chosen to self-publish talk about how energized (or re-energized) they are. While there’s the inevitable grousing about low-sales numbers or promotions gone haywire, rarely are there complaints about the work itself. I know I find myself ready to write every day, eager to get to the page and get my latest words down.
That’s because, according to Gladwell’s definition, self-publishing is meaningful work.