Community Is Vital for Creative Families (Guest Post)

Today I’m welcoming G.B. Sholander to the blog! I met her many years ago in the writing world and her family is full of creatives so I encouraged her to tell me more about them. The result is this wonderful guest post. Let’s give her the floor!

Creativity runs in the family

Meet the Sholander family! The writer of this guest post is on the far left. 😉 Photo used with G.B. Sholander’s permission.

In our family, we value creativity highly. Perhaps that’s why we have writers, artists, and computer programmers in our immediate family. To keep moving forward and keep growing in these pursuits, we’ve found that a strong sense of community is vital. Let me explain.

We “Get” Each Other

In our family of four, we’re extremely lucky that we all get along. What’s more, we share common interests that bridge any age, gender, or personality differences. Theme parks, great fiction, fun art, good movies, board games, tasty tea blends, whimsical costumes – these are just some of the things we all enjoy. We find it easy to hang out together, whether traveling, working on a project, or just sitting around talking.

Adagio tea blend art

Artwork by Spencer Sholander for one of his tea blends. Image used with G.B. Sholander’s permission.

We Offer Much Needed Moral Support

And because we understand each other so well, and we share many common interests and pursuits, we’re good at giving each other moral support. Each of us understands that it can take a great deal of time to create a digital illustration, a book, a program, or a website. We never berate each other for how long it takes to make something. On the contrary, we’re highly supportive.

Beautiful digital art by Susanne Sholander

Artwork by Susanne Sholander, who goes by ArtofZan. Image used with the permission of G.B. Sholander.

We’re There for Each Other Financially

Two of us are in our fifties, and two of us are in our twenties. As freelancers, sometimes we make decent money, other times not so much. For us, living in community means watching out for each other. We don’t hesitate to help each other in tangible ways, including offering financial help. We also take on temporary jobs in different fields when we need to. Here are examples:

  • When my kids worked at Disney World and I had a brief stint as a marketer, my husband had the luxury of taking some time off to develop apps.
  • One year when taxes were due and my husband and I found ourselves in a tight spot financially, our daughter helped out.
  • My husband, typically the highest earner in our family, frequently helps the rest of us financially.
  • When my son wasn’t earning enough writing, he took a job in food service for half a year.

Thankfully, the four of us are big believers in sharing. If we weren’t, it would be much harder for us to pursue our creative interests.

We Like to Hang Out with Other Creatives

While we have wonderful friends and extended family in many different professions and vocations, we feel a special kinship for the people in our lives who also follow their passion in creative endeavors. We’re close with individuals who sculpt displays in theme parks and shopping malls, who work in escape rooms, who write fiction, and who work in various entertainment and hospitality industries. Together we swap stories and commiserate. We talk about the challenges in finding work as well as that something inside that keeps propelling us forward. Sometimes we cook for each other, and we offer supportive “you can do it” words.

Sure, we’d be making more money had we pursued other occupations. But the joy we’ve found from the unconventional paths we’ve forged, and the wonderful people we’ve befriended along the way, are priceless.

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15 thoughts on “Community Is Vital for Creative Families (Guest Post)

  1. Christy, thank you very much for showcasing our family in your wonderful blog, and for providing a forum to discuss creativity. A big thank you also to everyone who commented here or shared the post. Much love to each of you ❤

  2. Reblogged this on Ghostwriting Plus and commented:
    A big thank you to my dear friend, the talented writer & poet Christy Birmingham, for inviting me to write a guest post on her blog, When Women Inspire. Creativity has its rewards, and a community of like-minded individuals can be one of them.

  3. Interesting example of community living within a four-member family. One does not get to hear many such stories in the highly individualistic and competitive world of today inspite of the proverbial success in unity and failure inherent in divisiveness. The creative life of the Sholanders founded on community living is, indeed, a role model for others.

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