Working in the creative field for 20 plus years, I’ve seen recessions come and go. Looks like we’re entering one right now or maybe we’re already there. I’ve read posts, e-mails, you name it, about graphic designers, writers, editors, ad and PR people losing contracts and losing full time jobs and they’re scared.You might be one of them.
I’ve learned over the years, that unfortunately, it’s the creative careers that are always the first to be cut, the writers and editors, and yes, PR people, the first to exit a company.
During the last recession…the great one as they call it, I found myself in sort of a double dilemma. About two years prior to the downturn, my mom had been diagnosed with cancer and need surgery followed by chemotherapy. It became a weekly thing where I’d go pick her up, sit with her and then two days later drive her back to the clinic because one of the drugs she was taking was delivered by a pump in her chest and only a nurse could detach it. I was still a full time freelance writer at the time but as you can guess, mom’s care was eating into my time and I slowly had to cut down on assignments. My mom passed away right about the time the great recession hit and I thought I’d just go back to my previous writing schedule. Problem was, work had dried up. Lots of my clients were out of business, taken the work in house, or were taking bids (the lowest bids I should add) on freelance sites.
Panic set in but then I sat down, took a couple of deep breaths and thought about what I could do. By now I’d had a couple of books published, I’d co-authored a cookbook, had a lot more books in the pipeline so I knew I could spend time doing that but if it would pay enough was my biggest concern. After more brainstorming, I came up with the idea to tutor for an online school and also teach others how to write.
I’m still doing both. In fact, I loved doing it so much even when freelance writing jobs were finally offered to me again, I declined.
Moral of the story, in downturns look what else you can do with your talents, look at it as a chance to maybe write the book you’ve always wanted (I have lots of people telling me they’re doing just that), and look at it as life pointing you in a different direction, maybe even the right direction. Without the great recession I would never have thought of tutoring or teaching or maybe even coaching. I love helping aspiring writers, I have the best students in the world, and in all honesty, they inspire me.
I know these times are tough for many people, especially those in the creative fields and I’m going to do my best to share with you any opportunities I hear for writers and editors.
If you are someone reading this and looking to hire a creative (as I’ll call them now) or just need someone to handle a temporary project, I’d love for you to share it here. You can leave a comment or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.