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Around the Writer’s Table

Arts & Culture Podcasts

Conversations on Craft, Creativity, and Conscious Living! The advice is universal: if you want to write, just sit your butt in a chair and start writing! Creativity isn’t always “on call,” though, and the act of writing tugs on all parts of your life: energy, time, focus, dedication, endurance, resilience…the list goes on. Around the Writer’s Table is a podcast that explores the crossroads of creativity, craft, and conscious living for writers of all ages and backgrounds. Join Gina, Melody, and KimBoo around the writer’s table as they bring their unique perspectives to the trials, tribulations, and joys of writing!


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Conversations on Craft, Creativity, and Conscious Living! The advice is universal: if you want to write, just sit your butt in a chair and start writing! Creativity isn’t always “on call,” though, and the act of writing tugs on all parts of your life: energy, time, focus, dedication, endurance, resilience…the list goes on. Around the Writer’s Table is a podcast that explores the crossroads of creativity, craft, and conscious living for writers of all ages and backgrounds. Join Gina, Melody, and KimBoo around the writer’s table as they bring their unique perspectives to the trials, tribulations, and joys of writing!






Revisions, Boundaries, and Clarity (Ep. 35)

This episode delves further into Gina's Creativity Quest stage of verifying and testing. We explored how this process of testing our creative boundaries and sharing our work with others relates to the natural seasons of writing and plant spirit medicine. Melody provided insights on using these paradigms to stay aligned with our creative vision during challenging periods of revision and maturation. For many of us, the fall season of letting go and accepting feedback is when doubts can creep in. But having clarity on our purpose and maintaining community support can help us through. We also discussed our clients' struggles to see the forest for the trees and lose sight of their goals. Productivity coaching aims to help them build confidence by establishing clear plans. Whether your strength lies in ideation or revision, we hope we offered perspectives on maintaining balance and harmony on your creative journey. Join us next time as we enter the stage of fully integrating and dedicating ourselves to our craft. ---------------- Visit our website for resource links, downloadable worksheets, and a full transcript of this episode!


Creativity Quest: Verifying and Testing (ep. 34)

In this episode, we continue their exploration of the Creativity Quest, focusing on "Verifying and Testing." As we delve into this stage of the creative journey, we discuss the challenges and opportunities it presents for creative individuals. Verifying and Testing is a crucial phase where creators begin to test their skills and share their work more openly with the world. It's a time when validation and feedback become essential, but it can also be a period filled with skepticism and criticism from others. We share our personal experiences handling criticism and discerning when (and from whom) to seek feedback. We highlight the importance of self-awareness, emphasizing the need to understand one's own reactions to feedback, whether positive or negative. Recognizing trustworthy sources and the right timing for feedback is a valuable skill during this stage. Listeners are invited to join the conversation as we navigate the external challenges that come with sharing creative work. This episode offers insights and strategies for maintaining resilience and boundaries while embracing the creative journey's external aspects. It's an exploration that reveals much about the creative process and how individuals can thrive throughout it! ---------------- Visit our website for resource links, downloadable worksheets, and a full transcript of this episode! ---------------- RESOURCES The Creativity QuestboundariesAssessing and AcknowledgingCarrying Inner Disquiet1 Million Words ClubGina’s QuillKimBoo’s Scriptorium ---------------- Questions on the Five Seasons and Verifying & Testing


The Challenges of Authenticity (Ep. 033)

This episode focuses on the relationship between authenticity and the seasons of writing! Your lovely hosts Gina, Melody, and KimBoo discuss how inviting authentic existence, one of the guideposts in Gina's Creativity Quest cycle of creativity, applies to all five seasons since authenticity is integral to fully expressing each stage of growth and change. Melody explains how each season influences authenticity, and we share our experiences finding our authentic voices over time through recognizing recurring themes and having a positive physical response when we engage in writing sincerely. Reading work aloud can also reveal authenticity that is otherwise hidden during the editing process. While the process is gradual, realizing that she had written over one million words helped KimBoo develop a richer, more authentic style and is one reason why she started the 1 Million Words membership community for writers. ---------------- Visit our website for resource links, downloadable worksheets, and a full transcript of this episode!


Creativity Quest: Inviting Authentic Existence Pt 2 (Ep. 32)

Welcome back, writers! We're here with another episode of Around the Writers' Table. Today, we're picking up where we left off a couple of episodes ago after a side-jaunt where Gina and I talked about subscriptions and serials. But now, let's get back to the heart of the Creativity Quest! In case you missed it, or you're just joining us, we're delving into the Creativity Quest guideposts, a series of stages that every creative person goes through. To catch you up, we've already explored carrying inner disquiet, releasing, emulating and mirroring, assessing and acknowledging, and taking ownership. Today, we're shining a spotlight on "inviting authentic existence." This is where things start to get real because it's all about externalizing the inner work we've done. It's like stepping into a new world: We start showing our work to others, inviting feedback, and that can be both exhilarating and nerve-wracking. Here's the thing; this stage can manifest in two ways. First, if you've been keeping your creative work close to your chest, the act of revealing it to the world might make you seem different to others, even though you're just being yourself. Second, you might uncover parts of yourself through your creative work that you never knew existed. Sharing these newfound aspects with the world can be a transformative experience, making you feel different to both yourself and others. We'll explore this transition between the inner work of taking ownership and the outer work of inviting authentic existence. So, stay tuned as we dig deep into these guideposts and uncover more about our creative journeys! ---------------- Visit our website for resource links, downloadable worksheets, and a full transcript of this episode!


The New Era of SERIALS for Authors (Ep. 31)

In this episode, Gina and KimBoo discuss the concept of serials and subscriptions for authors. We provide updates on their own writing projects and discuss the differences between serials and serialized novel and explore the history of serials and how the internet and technology have made them more accessible. We emphasize the creative freedom that serials offer to authors and why they should consider exploring this format! Takeaways:


The New Era of Subscriptions for Authors (Ep. 30)

In this "extra" episode, we delve into the world of subscription models for authors and their impact on creativity and community building! KimBoo and Gina share their journeys into the world of subscription-based writing, highlighting its transformative power. KimBoo reflects on her earlier exposure to subscription models in fanfiction communities and how it inspired her creative vision. She emphasizes the appeal of building a community and fostering deeper connections with readers. Gina reveals her initial skepticism about subscriptions and traditional publishing's limitations. Still, her curiosity and desire for creative freedom led her to explore this new frontier. Together, they shed light on the diversity of subscription models and the creative possibilities they offer authors. Whether you're a seasoned writer or just starting, this episode provides valuable insights into the evolving landscape of author-reader relationships through subscriptions. Tune in to discover how subscriptions can redefine your creative journey and build a supportive community around your work! ---------------- Visit our website for resource links, downloadable worksheets, and a full transcript of this episode!


Creativity Quest: Inviting Authentic Existence (ep. 29)

Welcome to another episode of Around the Writer's Table! While Melody is off dealing with a big move (ack!) Gina and I are diving back into the world of the Creativity Quest, a paradigm Gina has been shaping and exploring together with us. As always, this journey isn't linear; it's more like a dance, sometimes two steps forward, one step back. In this episode, we're focusing on the guidepost, "Inviting Authentic Existence," which is the 'I' in the CREATIVITY acronym. If you're new to this concept, you only need to know that each of the guideposts represent key aspects of our creative journey. The "Inviting Authentic Existence" guidepost signifies a shift from inner exploration to a more outward engagement with our creative process. It's about embracing your values, beliefs, and autonomy as a creator. Think of it as extending invitations to new ways of being creative, even if it feels like unfamiliar territory. We'll explore how reactions from others and self-reflection play a role in this stage, and what it means to feel "sovernty" in your authorial voice. So, stay tuned as we venture deeper into the Creativity Quest! ------------ Visit our website for resources mentioned in this episode, as well as a downloadables and a full transcript!


Embracing Your Creative Authority (ep. 28)

Welcome back to Around the Writer's Table, where we are on a creative journey through the seasons. In this episode, we delve into the heart of summer, both in nature and creativity, to explore the theme of "Taking Ownership." Melody shares insights from her book, "Soul of the Seasons," linking the seasons of life to the writing process. Summer signifies a time of heightened productivity and maturation, emphasizing leadership grounded in integrity and authenticity. We discuss the importance of self-guidance while seeking mentorship and maintaining our unique vision. This season, it's all about embracing your creative authority and leading with a compassionate heart. Join us in discovering how the summer of ownership can empower your Creativity Quest! ------------ Visit our website for resources mentioned in this episode, as well as a downloadables and a full transcript!


Creativity Quest: Taking Ownership (ep. 27)

Welcome to the next step of our creative journey! In this episode, we're diving into the stage of the Creativity Quest called "Taking Ownership." This is where our creative adventure starts to get really interesting! So, what is this "Taking Ownership" guidepost all about? Well, it's the stage where our authentic selves get to shine. It's when we step into our creative power and start to truly own our creative identity. At this point, we're moving away from relying heavily on mentors or teachers and stepping into our unique creative selves. But, and this is a big but, it can be a tricky stage. It's easy to get caught up in our own egos. We might start thinking we know it all and get a bit carried away. That's where the importance of balance comes in. We have to find the sweet spot between claiming our creative truth and staying humble. After all, humility keeps our creativity grounded and prevents us from spiraling back into old phases. Join us as we explore the challenges and triumphs of the "Taking Ownership" guidepost. This stage is where we do some deep inner work. Just like in the previous stages, it requires profound self-honesty. We discuss how "Taking Ownership" has shown up in our creative journeys and how we've navigated its twists and turns. It's all part of the quest to become the best creative versions of ourselves! ------------ Visit our website for resources mentioned in this episode, as well as a downloadables and a full transcript!


Critiquing Your Inner Critic: Healthy Self Assessment (ep. 26)

In our last episode, we delved into one of the crucial phases of the creative journey, assessing and acknowledging. This stage involves not only evaluating specific pieces of our creative work, but also reflecting on ourselves and our creative lives as a whole. It's about understanding our growth, recognizing areas for improvement, and acknowledging the progress we've made so far. As we explore the different phases of the Creativity Quest, we draw parallels to the five seasons, examining how each stage aligns with the changing landscapes of our creative experiences. In this episode, we return to the topic of assessing and acknowledging, focusing on its connection to the season of fall. In the season of fall, things start to quiet down. It's a time of reflection and assessment, a period to discern what holds value and what's ready to be released. Just as trees shed leaves to prepare for new growth, we too must let go of what no longer serves us. It's a challenging process, entailing honesty and, at times, grief. As we dive into the conversation, Melody highlights the significance of healthy assessment and its importance to both personal growth and creative work. KimBoo underscores the value of self-awareness, which helps break the cycle of insecurities and self-doubt. Gina emphasizes the connection between assessment, perfectionism, and imposter syndrome. She emphasizes the practice of self-compassion and treating oneself with the same kindness as a trusted friend. As we explore the assessing and acknowledging phase in our creative journey, we invite you to reflect on your own growth and creative process. Join us as we navigate this essential stage with self-compassion and insight, bringing enlightenment to your creative path. Visit our website for resources mentioned in this episode, as well as a downloadables and a full transcript!


Creativity Quest: Assessing and Acknowledging (ep. 25)

In this insightful episode, we journey further into the Creativity Quest with Gina Hogan Edwards, diving into the critical stage of assessing and acknowledging. We explore this often-overlooked phase, where the true voices of creative individuals begin to show up and discuss how the Creativity Quest isn't linear and how the stages of assessing and acknowledging lead to a deeper understanding of oneself as a writer. We reflect on our personal experiences with self-coaching, the importance of honesty, and the struggle with being performative in our work. Join us for this illuminating conversation and gain insights into recognizing your growth, embracing self-compassion, and finding your authentic voice in the creative process. Enhance your creative journey by visiting our website to download the accompanying worksheet on assessing and acknowledging. We also have a full transcript of the episode available.


When it’s All Just So Much (Ep. 24)

In this ad hoc episode, KimBoo and Melody hold down the fort while Gina is dealing with some unplanned traveling up north (well, "north" for Florida, which in this case means her homeland of North Carolina). Circumstances being what they are, we go into a deep dive on grief, trauma, stress, and (you guessed it!) creativity. We talk about ways of being compassionate to ourselves while also being true to our creative nature. When Melody tells you "be like a wolf!" it might surprise you what she actually means by it! We cover heavy topics but our goal is always to do so in a way that brings enlightenment to your creative journey. Thanks for joining us! Check out our website for downloads mentioned in the podcast, as well as a full transcript.


Mirroring to Find Our Own Author Voice (Ep. 23)

In this episode we dive into the essence of the creative quest - from emulating and mirroring your favorite authors to eventually finding your unique voice as a writer. We discuss how learning from the masters and those we admire is not about copying their work but about absorbing skills and identifying the qualities we desire in our own writing. We also touch on the potential pitfalls of comparison, the fear of never being able to write as well as those we admire, and how this could potentially stagnate our growth as writers. We explore how this process can sometimes be non-linear, looping back on itself or skipping stages, making the creative process more of a quest than a cycle. Listen to the full episode to hear more about our experiences with this, and to gain insights that might help you navigate your own creativity quest. Make sure you download the accompanying worksheet to further delve into this stage of the creative journey.


The Creativity Quest: Emulating and Mirroring (ep. 22)

In our latest episode titled "The Creativity Quest: Emulating and Mirroring," we dive into the intricacies of the creative journey. This process is far from linear. As artists, we move through various stages, sometimes repeating or skipping others, based on our unique challenges and successes. Our focus for today is the stage of emulating and mirroring. Have you ever been so profoundly moved by a book that you thought, "I want to write like that?" We all have authors whose work stirs something deep within us, igniting a desire to emulate their craft in our own unique way. This is not about copying but learning from mentors, building our skills and strengths. It's about identifying aspects of others' work that resonate with us, and then questioning, "How did they do that?" and "How can I do that in my way?" Interestingly, while other art forms commonly practice emulating and mirroring, writers often shy away from this exercise. We explore this phenomena and much more. Tune in for an enriching conversation, and don't forget to download our accompanying worksheet to support you on your creative quest. Let's continue this journey together.


The Season of Releasing in the Creativity Quest (ep. 21)

In this episode, we dived deeper into the season of fall, which represents a vital stage in the Creativity Quest, in the form of Release (ref. ep 20!) and its significance in both the natural and creative world. The fascinating correlation lies in the necessity of letting go, both in nature's fall, as plants shed their leaves, and in the writing process, as we release unnecessary clutter to allow new ideas to flow. Like trees letting go of their leaves to survive harsh winters, we need to learn to release our attachment to the unnecessary and make room for what's crucial. A primary emotion tied to the 'letting go' process is grief, which is why this process can be challenging. It's especially difficult when this grief is tied to our creative outputs or our personal spaces. But remember, decluttering isn't just physical. It's an internal process of dealing with grief, parting ways with the old, and making space for the new. We talk about our different approaches and experiences with the lessons of "Release" during the Creativity Quest. Whether it's a stage in your writing or a physical space, learning to let go is a universal principle that can unclutter your life and make room for new growth. Stay tuned for more insights into the fascinating journey of the creative process! Visit our website for transcripts of episodes and all downloadable worksheets!


The Creativity Quest: Releasing (ep. 20)

In this episode, we deep-dive into the topic of the creative process and the challenges it poses for writers like us. We expand on Gina's Creativity Quest, introducing the next step in the process: the concept of "Releasing," and its impact on our writing journeys. Gina kicks off the discussion with a description of how the former step, "Carrying Inner Disquiet" (see episode 19) directly leads to "Releasing" in a healthy creative process. One of the critical things we discuss is the struggle of releasing control, in particular, whether manifested as perfectionism or procrastination. As a discovery writer, I usually don't work with a detailed plot outline for my stories. Instead, I thrive in exploring and unveiling the story as it unfolds. I tend to get over-excited about knowing the outcome in advance, but I've learned the hard way that it's not the most successful approach for me. Instead, I've learned to trust my instincts as a writer and go with the flow. Melody talks about a similar struggle. She often finds herself trying to force the storyline or character development, but midway through, she realizes her initial ideas don't work. She has to step back, be flexible, and allow her story to evolve naturally. We also touched upon the importance of scheduling our time. I’ve realized I need to let go of spontaneity to ensure I get enough writing time. While spontaneity is fantastic, it can be a hindrance when there's a need for dedicated writing time. Melody echoed similar sentiments, stressing the need for scheduling downtime. Amid her demanding landscape design business, she emphasized the need to create space for relaxation and self-care to fuel creativity. Finally, Gina brings up the ever-topical book "The War of Art" by Steven Pressfield, a book that deals extensively with the concept of resistance. We all agree that it's a powerful resource for anyone facing resistance in their creative journeys. Please remember to visit our website,, to download the worksheet mentioned in this episode, as well as access a full transcript.


The Creativity Quest: Carrying Inner Disquiet (ep. 19)

On this insightful episode, we delve into the first stage of the Creativity Quest: the stage of 'Inner Disquiet'. This phase, although not necessarily the first one you experience, is marked by an uncomfortable longing for self-expression, which can sometimes last for years. Gina shares her personal experiences with this phase both as a writer and as a creativity coach working with other writers, and discusses her time in the corporate world when she felt an overwhelming sense of dissatisfaction stemming from her unfulfilled desire to write. Melody and KimBoo share how they experience 'Inner Disquiet', leading to an enlightening discussion on recognizing this stage as a crucial precursor to creative growth. Melody likens it to the germination stage of a seed - a quiet but vital phase where the real magic happens below the surface, and how it relates to the season of Winter in traditional five-season medicine. Tune in to explore this vital aspect of the creative journey and gain insights that can help you navigate your own path!


The Creativity Quest (ep. 18)

We are launching a new series as we enter the second year of the podcast! We're so glad to have all our listeners on this journey with us as we explore new ways to help writers embrace their creativity and conscious living. Gina does most of the heavy lifting in this episode. She introduces her Creativity Quest framework by providing an overview of how it is designed to help writers plan, unplan, and get unstuck throughout the writing process. Future episodes will have us digging into each step in the cycle in depth. Melody brings in how the different stages of the Creativity Quest relate to the Seasons for Writers and ways that we can use both perspectives to become clearer about how we engage with our work. KimBoo, meanwhile, complains about all the ideas she has for stories she wants to write! Please visit the Around the Writer's Table website to access the downloadable guide to the Creativity Quest and the transcript for this episode.


Spring Redux: : Nurturing New Projects

In this episode of Around the Writer's Table, my co-hosts Gina, Melody, and I discuss planning versus pantsing in the new-project creation process. We explore how different writers approach their work, whether by meticulously outlining and planning or by writing spontaneously and "flying by the seat of their pants." We emphasize the importance of discovering one's own writing style and being open to experimentation. Gina shares her experience of transitioning from a planner to a pantser and how it helped her embrace her creative freedom. She also highlights the importance of balancing planning and spontaneity in the writing process, mentioning, "There are so many ways to approach it, and the best thing you can do is to be willing to experiment and find what works best for you." I discuss the obstacles I faced when trying to plan my stories and how I eventually discovered that planning can be both a friend and a hindrance. I underscore the importance of planning on one's own terms rather than following someone else's instructions. Melody talks about the role of a writing coach in helping writers find the right balance in their creative process, noting the value of pushing one's boundaries and trying new approaches to writing. We also touch on the topic of our next episode, which will delve into Gina's creative cycle and its connection to the seasons of the writing process. We encourage listeners to join us as we continue exploring the different stages of creativity and finding a balance between planning and pantsing in their writing journey. Overall, this episode serves as a valuable resource for writers seeking insights and guidance on finding their own unique writing process and striking the right balance between planning and spontaneity.


Three Cs (Critique, Compassion, Craft) Part 3: EDITING dun dun dun

On this episode, Melody, Gina, and KimBoo discuss the importance of editing in writing. Whether you're a professional writer or a hobbyist, working with an editor can help elevate your work to the next level. Gina breaks down the four different stages of editing - developmental editing, content editing, line editing, and copy editing - and explain what each one entails. We also give tips on how to clarify what kind of editing services an editor provides before hiring them, and why proofreading is crucial for any polished final product. KimBoo explains why traditional publishers may not be providing the same level of editing services as before, and Melody talks about her long journey through different editors until finally working with Gina to produce her book, Soul of the Seasons.