Everyone knows that the one constant in life is change, but that doesn’t make change any easier. The last few years in the creative industries have been a rollercoaster of change. Not fun.

In the entertainment industry, the writers were fighting with the agents and managers. Then we had COVID shut down. Then there were the writers and actors strikes. And now as the industry tries to figure out the economics of streaming, people have been laid off, projects cancelled, and completed movies shelved.

The publishing industry is going through its own growing pains with Amazon changing keywords and Kindle Unlimited payouts. People’s income has gone down overnight.

Life as a creative always ebbs and flows. And there is a lot we can’t control. When times are tough, the only thing you can do is focus on what you can control – yourself.

Here are some things you can do.

Keep Creating

As a writer, keep writing. The more you write, the more IP you have. The more IP you have, the more you have to sell and the more opportunities you get.

The more you write, the more your writing improves. Double down on your craft. Read a book. Take a class. Form a writers group.

As an executive, keep creating by partnering with writers and directors whose work you love. Look for and develop projects. This creative work will bring opportunities, growing your network. A new project gives you a reason to reach out to people. And it will keep your story brain humming.

Build Your Network

As always, who you know plays an important part in your career growth. Nurture your existing relationships by seeing people in person. It’s time to book breakfast, lunch, drinks, and dinner! ​Meet new people at networking events​. You probably have a favorite event where you know everyone. Join new groups to expand your network. Or start your own.

If you are in Los Angeles, Dave Cain and Nick Harron have restarted my networking mixer for kids entertainment, Ready Set Go. I will host (mostly) from Texas. If you would like to get on the list for invitations, click ​here​.

Explore New Revenue Streams

With uncertainty in the air, now is the perfect time to think outside of the box of ways you can expand your income. Start with your projects. As a creator, are there ways you can expand and repurpose your ideas? Maybe your favorite TV series project could become a tabletop game or a comic book.

As an executive, can you use your expertise in a new way to earn some extra money? One way to use your experience is to share what you know. Teach a class (either in person or online.) Or write a how to book.

Practice Resilience

While growing our careers, we have to learn how to be our own cheerleaders. Persevering is hard even for the most upbeat person. The only way through the hard times is forward.

A reminder: We know how to be resilient. You have endured many things in the past, from career upsets to family tragedies, and you are still here.

Even if you’re feeling unable to handle your latest challenge, you have handled other challenges before. You’ve got this. Keep creating; keep telling stories. Who knows what wonderful experience is waiting for you in the next bend in your road.

When you get bad news, go to the zoo.

Author Kevin Tumlinson talks about how ​he chooses joy over despair​.

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