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Goodreads asked Patrick Elliott:

What’s your advice for aspiring writers?

Patrick Elliott This possibly the most difficult thing for me to answer. I have been thinking about it lot though. Remember when reading this that I am opinionated, an advocate for freedom and challenging the status quo, and forging your own path. I also believe every writer is out to touch, change and inspire the world. You can never do that if you are not comfortable with yourself and in touch with not only what you want to see but how you believe we should get there. With that in mind...

Do this...

I have been looking at advice from writers on how to be an author and wonder if this translates to other artists. If we eliminate the fifty percent, and I'm being generous, who are simply quoting Stephen King and/or Neil Gaiman I find a common thread.
That commonality is not in the letter of what they say but instead the spirit. They give advice based on what they did to succeed themselves. "Do it how I did, it works!" Well it worked for them.
Perhaps as artists it is time we realized you should not do it my way but yours. Stay true to yourself, stay true to the medium, be true to the art, and always be both as honest and helpful as you can. That last is trick if you are writing fiction since you are making stuff up, but I think you follow. You are sharing something from your heart and mind. Do things your way not in the footsteps of people who achieved the same goals you wish to reach. Don't change who you are unless you feel you need to be someone different to achieve happiness.
Maybe that's just me but it seems reasonable. I don't want stale copies of authors I love. I want vibrant art that I fall in love with for its own sake. You should feel free to ignore me and imitate others. In the end that is part of doing it your way.

And keep this in mind...

You should never feel inferior. You are good and you write stories that touch and teach. If you see something or someone you consider good or great then aspiration is wonderful but you should never feel inferior.
Those of us who do this have it hard enough with the judgments of the world. From the moment we hear “But what do you really want to do?” or “How will you pay the bills while you see if it works out?” we know we are different and it is implied that we are lesser, because stories don’t pay the bills, and don’t build societies. Then we here from painters, actors, and other artists that writing isn’t real art and we know even in our tribe we are the outsiders who are looked down on. Well you know what? Storytelling has built society, it brings joy, intelligence, peace, and greatness to the world and it has been around longer than those careers that are now considered viable and will be here when something new has crushed those paths underfoot and moved on. The world makes us feel inferior enough, never do that to yourself. Know that you are great and aspire to be even better. Because you are, and you can be but so can the rest of us. I refuse to feel inferior when I read something by one of the giants. I just realize I’ve got a big task ahead of me to fill those shoes. Please know that you are brave and amazing and helping to build a better world.
I am glad you found writing and hope you stick with it. I have gone on and off. I never completely lost it but would set it aside for “real life” from time to time. Never give up your art. I have was afraid to put my own work out there for a long time. So I think losing the path is more respectable than seeing it and being afraid to walk it. Don't end up making up for lost time.

Last, don't expect it to be quick. It might be. I won't say don't expect it to be easy because it may or may not be. It will likely take time and effort though. It is not like a job, this is part of your life and it will evolve with you through all of your days. A job is easy; finding your voice, discovering yourself, and living are hard.

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