Friendship

Every writer will tell you that every story needs conflict. The best stories have a strong villain and the most dramatic stories all need moments of levity. More experienced writers, though, will talk to you about the importance of friendship.

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Opinion vs. Constructive Criticism

A man of wisdom once told me, “If you seek praise from the world, you will only find pain.” If an artist gets caught up in the pulpit of public opinion, upon which one person says they’re a genius, that their art, writing or music is otherworldly, while the next person calls them amateur, a hack and claims they have no right working in the creative arts, they become consumed by doubt, wondering which one is right.

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The Stigma of Self-publishing

For a long time, if you told someone that you self-published your own book they looked at you like you had the plague. One or two friends may accept the copy you gifted them, but neither of them would ever read it. If you were unable to find an agent who could sell your manuscript to a publisher, you were not a real author. In fact, you were often looked upon as a failed writer.

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Be Open to All Things Creative

An artist’s best catalyst to progress is their willingness to embrace ideas that are outside their comfort zone. Many creative people I have known throughout my life get too comfortable working in their genre. The information and material they digest is solely from the environment in which they work. This type of thinking is to an artist’s detriment. Never get comfortable in your creative environment.

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Childhood

While I am well aware that not every childhood is full of happy thoughts, there is a lens that all children look through where even the smallest things, like going for ice cream or playing outside on the sidewalk during the summer, bring them a type of magnified joy we so often lose in adulthood. Childhood is where I first decided to craft stories and make illustrations to share with like-minded adventurers.

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