SNARKY RESPONSE: But we make no promises about tomorrow.
Devotion is worth the effort at this time.
Actually, I feel that devotion is always worth the effort. Granted I may not always receive gratitude for my devotion, but if my intent were only to receive gratitude then it calls into question the validity of my devotion.
Now there are some noble pursuits that are with the sole expectation of recognition. I'm thinking specifically of competitive sports. In my mind, athletes and competitors are always cognisant of the ratio of effort to results, so I think they are outside the scope of my discussion.
Additionally, devotion to family and faith are excluded from the discussion, though my initial comment can be applied to those folks who expect others to reward them for their actions. As Dolly Parton's character said in "Straight Talk", those folks should "get down off the cross. Somebody needs the wood."
No, seriously, today's fortune cookie resonated with me and where I am right now with my writing. I'm well into my edits, to the point that I'm beginning to get a little green around the gills at the thought of reading through my current WIP One More Time. However, that one more time is crucial to getting the words right. In fact, I fully expect that even after I slog my way through this edit, I'll have to push myself through another. It's an effort, hell yeah, and I have been known to periodically whine about it, but it's an effort that I know will improve my work.
I'm determined to do this work, to make these adjustments, and then go through it all again because I'm devoted to the concept of putting my best work forward to anyone who plunks down the money and the time to read my writing. Or even if no one does, because it's what I do.
I'm a writer and I write. Then I edit and edit and edit until it's right. And there's no skipping steps along the way. Therefore, my devotion to my writing is ALWAYS worth the effort.