There comes a time when we are finally in the flow. We're working on our projects, playing shows, selling paintings, whatever..and then a particular challenge comes, an attack from the outside. No, not a critic. It's the "big shot".
Slowly; insidiously, the big shot will move in, praising your work, telling you that "they have their eye on you". They invite you to parties and introduce you to fun and interesting people. You'll go to lunch and dinner ALL of the time and you'll finally feel as if you have found a group with which you belong.
However, you might have noticed in this lovely laundry list of things that I have been mentioning, I left something out. It's called work. Actual creative focus. We might be having a great time, bit in reality, we are just becoming another sycophant to the big shot.
This could be unintentional on their part,. but, to be honest reality has taught me differently. Many of these people tend to be very good a manipulating others consciously. I have seen over and over again the subtle play to neutralize competition by "keeping your friends close, but your enemies closer".
So, what can we do to avoid what I have eventually named "Hollywood Poison"? It's simple as this. Have boundaries. Is it wrong to go to the party and have a good time? Absolutely not. Life is also about fun. Usually, these are also amazing for networking. You absolutely should go...selectively.
Plan your "let down" time and don't deviate. Once you fall into that trap, it's hard to go back. Set your schedule for creativity BEFORE taking the "down time" into account. Fill it in. Then mercilessly cut out all of the other crap that keeps you from your work.
You are an artist and you never arrive at the place where you can stop developing. Be the artist, not the socialite. Those are a dime a dozen.
For for the love God, keep the Hollywood poison out of your ear. (It's best to not fall asleep in gardens.)