Patton Oswalt gave the keynote speech at this year’s Just For Laughs Comedy Conference in Montreal. It took the form of two open letters. The first to the modern day comedian. The second to the gatekeepers of the comedy world. Though he is talking about the world of comedy, you could basically take these letters and replace comedy with music, film, tv, radio, author, illustrator, or any other creative title and his remarks are just as true.
I see no reason to paraphrase them here. Both are worth your time and you should read them now.