Inaugural Episode! An Interview with Gina Hogan Edwards

Welcome to the first episode of Around the Writer’s Table: Conversations on Craft, Creativity, and Conscious Living! We’re really excited to kick this off.

We’re starting with an interview with one of our own: Gina Hogan Edwards! Writer, editor, creativity coach, and WomanSpeak Leader! We cover a lot of ground in this episode, jumping off from talking about Gina’s long career as a professional writer and editor to issues such as dealing with your inner editor and how to approach long-term writing projects. Join us!

 

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Ep.01: Interview with Gina Hogan Edwards – TRANSCRIPT

:02
Dave Hogan (Gina’s father!)
Welcome to Around the Writer’s Table, a podcast focusing on the crossroads of creativity, craft, and conscious living for writers of all ages and backgrounds. Your hosts are Gina, Melody, and KimBoo, three close friends and women of a certain age, who bring to the table their eclectic backgrounds and unique perspectives on the trials, tribulations, and the joys of writing. So pull up a chair and get comfortable here around the writer’s table.

0:44
KimBoo York
Welcome to the table, around which several writers are sitting right now, although that is a little bit misleading. We are actually remote, pandemic precautions and all that. But we are around the metaphorical writer’s table here today. I am KimBoo York. Sitting here with me today is Melody Harris and Gina Edwards. As we start off the podcast, we decided that the best way to approach this so that you – our audience – would get to know us – your hosts – a little bit better, we’ve decided to actually interview each other on these first few rounds of episodes. 

Today on the hot seat is our very own Gina Edwards, who is a professional editor and a creative coach with years of experience helping authors learn to write or actually write the stories that are in their hearts and what they need to say. She’s also branched off now into incorporating WomanSpeak – which I think she’s going to talk about a little bit in her own introduction – and how that’s helping not just women learn to own their own voice, but also specifically helping female authors and women writers learn how to use that and leverage that for sharing their own stories. So Gina, would you mind introducing yourself a little bit to us to get us started? And then we’ll hand it over to Melody, who can ask the first question on the dock.

2:14
Gina Hogan Edwards
Absolutely. Glad to be here today and I appreciate that introduction. You kind of touched on a little bit of all of it. I am an editor. I work with both fiction writers and nonfiction writers. In the nonfiction world, particularly women who are writing personal development type of books. And I’m also a certified creativity coach. Yes, that is a thing. And yes, it is fun. And I am a Licensed WomanSpeak Circle Leader. 

And the way that all of those tie together is that I noticed in my work with women writers that there is oftentimes, even though there’s a desire to put their words on a page and get their message out there, there is also a whole lot of self doubt and fear of judgment and perfectionism and other fears that come into play that sometimes hinder us from wanting to be seen. 

KimBoo
Yeah, I have no idea what that’s like.

3:33
Gina
And in today’s world as a writer, though, the readers want to know who the writers are. And so that’s what really led me to a WomanSpeak, which is a public speaking training program. But it’s a very feminine-centered program, and it’s not simply about learning how to speak from a stage. It is really learning how to claim our voice, to sort of rediscover – uncover and rediscover – your voice. Whether that’s from a stage, on the written page if you happen to be a writer, in your everyday life, in your workplace, wherever that is.

4:07
Melody, A Scout
Wow, this is Melody, A Scout. And I’m so happy to be here with Gina and KimBoo this morning. For our first podcast, I’m just super-stoked about all the exciting and fun subjects. Gina, you touched on some of those in your own introduction. So Gina, I mean, wow. It sounds like you have worn a lot of professional hats in your life. What would you say? Is your favorite one so far?

4:44
Gina
I chuckle as you say a lot of professional hats because that’s kind of an understatement. When I first got my degree in communications in college, I thought I was going to work in the advertising industry, which is very different today than it was back then. I ended up working in a lot of different industries from plumbing wholesale to restaurant marketing and management, television and radio. I worked as a consultant. I’ve owned three businesses. I worked in the environmental field. So a lot of different industries. 

Those have all carried lots of different kinds of titles. But in all of the jobs that I had, I’ve worked with words. Sometimes it was more academic and technical or scientific, which really kind of messed with my fiction voice. But in my professional career, I’ve always in some way or another worked with the written word, along with my own personal interests in writing. So, when it comes to my favorite, I think that I have several, because it sort of depends on the aspect of my life that you’re talking about. And there have been changes in society and all of that. 

So first of all, I would say that the television research work back in the mid ’80s. I loved the work itself, but I also really cherish that time because I feel like it was a more healthy work-life balance time for all of us. It was before cell phones. There was no texting. In my workplace, we all worked as a team, but we were, you know, we were friends too. And so we would get together after work. But there wasn’t any expectation that we would ever talk about work. You know, if I got a phone call – landline – if I got a phone call from somebody wanting to get together after work, it wasn’t for an after-work meeting. It was to go to taco happy hour, you know. So I just feel like there was a lot more balance back then. It was very technical and statistical work, but I really enjoyed it. We were uncovering the psychographics of our television viewership, which helped our advertisers. So it was fascinating work. 

My other favorite I would say is where I am now. And that has more to do with as an editor and a coach in WomanSpeak, as a WomanSpeak Circle Leader. Not only the work itself, but the transformation and the growth that I get to see from the clients that I work with. And I think too, I’m just more comfortable and confident in my own skin now. And so I just kind of enjoy it more. I don’t really care what other people think. So just kind of do my own thing.

7:36
Melody
Well, I love the thing that you do because, for those of you that don’t know, Gina was actually the editor and coach for me, writing coach for me, as I wrote my book Soul of the Seasons and made that long and arduous journey, and I can attest to her proficiency in her craft.

Gina Hogan Edwards
Thank you. 

8:12
KimBoo
A lot of experience there. You know, as we say, in the intro, women of a certain age, we’ve all had a wide variety of things and what I’ve realized from what you said is that we have a real dearth of taco happy hour going on here in Tallahassee, so…

8:26
Gina
For sure. Do you remember unlimited taco bars?

8:32
KimBoo
Oh, back in the day. There now, you’re gonna make me sad. But, you know, one of the things is, we could get a little bit into the aspects of writing and your experiences as an editor, and now as your– then your experience as a creative coach, which certainly Melody, A Scout has had a lot of experience with personally. I want to talk about – and this is one of my favorite questions. I forget which one of you came up with this question, but it’s one I’ve been looking forward to asking and it is what, or I should say how has the writing process changed you? Because I know you’re working on your own book, aside from everything else that you’re writing. So how has the writing process changed you? Love that question. Can’t wait to hear the answer.

9:16
Gina
Well, writing is so central to everything that I do now. I mean, writing has become my life, both professionally and personally. In terms of how it’s impacted me, I feel like it’s opened up my eyes to so many things that I would not have been aware of if I were not a writer. The self-reflection of journaling, the research that I’ve needed to do for fiction, and I think just in general, the need for us as writers to be really attentive, to pay attention to what’s going on in our world, to be good listeners, to be very observant. Because, of course, we want to use everything that’s around us in some way or fashion in our book. 

But also I think, less judgment and more compassion, I think. Both of those have been cultivated in me because of my writing. It’s made me a more conscious and more aware liver of life, in general. And that’s one of the reasons that I’m really glad that we picked out, in our tagline for the podcast, we include conscious living. So I’m really glad that we added that in because I think that’s such an important aspect of being a writer. I think it does make us more conscious and aware. And one of my favorite quotes from the author Joan Didion, and I think it was from an essay that she wrote called “Why I Write.” It’s: “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means, what I want, and what I fear.” And I think that really sort of encapsulates the effect of writing on me.

KimBoo
I think we’re definitely going to put that full quote in the show notes, because that’s fantastic.

11:19
Melody
That’s powerful. And I can see, and I’ve learned, listening to you in past conversations, that you care deeply about not only the writing process, your own writing, but also your fellow writers and those you try to love and support. And so, talking about the craft of writing, what would you say, lights you up the most about that?

11:49
Gina
About the craft of writing? 

Melody
Yeah. 

Gina
Well, I can answer that actually from two perspectives: the perspective of the editor and the perspective of the writer. Because both of those things light me up in different ways, but they’re both related to the craft. So as an editor, seeing a writer, especially one who’s struggling with something, really grasp a concept that’s related to the craft. I had a writer that I was working with a few years ago, and we started – she’s got four books now – but this was on her very first book. And she was really struggling with point of view. And she was slipping in and out of this main character’s point of view in a way that was confusing. And so we did a lot of conversation and I gave her a lot of reading assignments and a lot of research to do for her to really hone in on developing her voice and some exercises. And so she really has come a long way. And she’s in book four now. And I see the evidence, I see the evidence. And when I see that, I know that she’s internalized the craft. She doesn’t have to think about it anymore, because she gets it. 

From a writer’s standpoint, craft involves the technical aspects, grammar, punctuation, alliteration, those kinds of things. But I love in my own writing to see how just a simple restructuring of a sentence, moving around the words in a different way, maybe adding in an em dash or an ellipses. I know that’s really nerdy. But from a craft standpoint, I just love to see how sometimes the subtlest things, that – when you put it in the context of what else is around – it can really make a difference in the way that it’s going to impact your reader. I know that was a nerdy answer.

13:55
KimBoo
We’re all nerds here. Yeah, because I mean, I know the alt code for doing an em dash. So I’ve really got absolutely no space to criticize on that one. I’m going a little bit off-script, because when you were talking about being both a writer and editor, which neither Melody nor I are editors in the sense of being a professional editor the way you are and what you’ve spent years doing. And yet, I think every writer is an editor on the inside. We’re constantly editing our own work. And when I think about creativity and craft, even conscious living to a certain extent, how do you deal with that inner editor voice when you’re trying to unlock creativity?

14:46
Gina
It is so important to keep the creative separate from the revisor, the editor, so keeping that… putting the words on the page when you’re working on that first draft and just getting out the story and writing for your heart and saying what it is that you want to say without judgment, without restriction, without self editing, without censoring yourself. Being able to do that is a whole different mindset from the revision process. 

I’m really glad that you asked this too, because I see so often, brand new writers focusing first on the technical aspects of the craft. You know: “Do I have the punctuation right? And is that grammar correct?” And that’s not where you need to be when you’re putting down your first draft or maybe even your second draft. And so being able to acknowledge those voices. Say, “Thank you, I hear you, and I’ll get around to you eventually.” But setting them aside is very important in order to be able to really listen, listen to your heart. 

Sometimes for some writers, that can be the physicality of the writing, can actually help that process. I really highly recommend in the first – and I know a lot of writers are going to resist this, when they hear this – I really recommend in those first phases of getting out what it is that you want to say that you handwrite as much as possible. And as tedious and difficult as that sounds – Julia Cameron talks about this so much in The Artist’s Way that connection between the head and the heart and the hand is so much different when you’re putting a writing implement to paper and moving your hand physically across the page than it is when you’re just touching the keys on a keyboard. It’s a very different process.

16:59
Melody
That’s nice, I can attest to having a pretty harsh inner drillmaster, and being grammatically challenged, self-professed, that it is so tempting to edit and go back and edit. But what you say is so true. In those first few drafts, it’s better to just let it go and just keep that flow going. So I think that’s a really valuable piece of advice for new writers, any writers.

17:29
Gina
And sometimes it’s necessary for us, if we find that we’re getting too caught up in that revision mindset, or we’re listening to those voices that are  niggling at us, that we really reconnect with the why, for why we’re, we’re writing. I did a workshop on this yesterday. And there’s a whole kind of process that we go through to get to that, because a lot of us don’t consciously think about our why for writing. And I’m not talking about, you know, to sell books, to make a reader laugh, or make a reader cry. Those are all results. This is more about your passion and your calling, and why you are really driven to write this particular story in this particular moment, and why it needs to come from you. And so if you can get at the heart of that and remind yourself of that, then I think it’s easier then to stay in the creative stage than moving on into that revision and self-judgment stage.

18:35
Melody
Nice. And I’m excited about some of our future podcasts where we’re going to talk about these subjects more in-depth, because so many writers are challenged by these very things. So I’m excited about that.

18:50
KimBoo
I am too. And I also like the way that it kind of melds into bigger issues of life as well, because self judgment is something we all suffer from just across the board.

Gina
I have no idea what you’re talking about.

19:05
KimBoo
It’s complete mystery. I’ve heard other people deal with this. But I agree it’s not just an issue for writing, but we carry those lessons into our writing from our lives. I think there’s a real feedback loop there that I know Melody’s gonna be talking about that in future episodes when we get into some of the Soul of the Season episodes that we’ve got planned. Exciting stuff down the way. So yeah, I’m really looking forward to that too. Definitely. 

Gina
Me too.

19:32
Melody
Yeah, so we’ve talked about some of your favorite things you’d like about writing. Oh, yeah. Tell us, do tell, what is some of your least-favorite aspects of writing?

19:41
KimBoo
Ooh. And you can’t just say writing. Like that’s no allowed. Oh, yeah. The writing part. No, no, can’t do that!

19:53
Gina
The least favorite part. The starting. Once I actually get my butt in the chair in a given writing session, I’m fine. Or once I’ve gotten a project begun, and so when I sit down the next time, I’ve already got a flow to it. And I’ve already got some backstory and some history to it so that I can dive right in. But the very first stages, it’s like, I need a real push to get started.

20:33
KimBoo
And how do you do that? What’s your method? Come on, you opened the door for that one.

20:37
Gina
Oh, you know what, it really goes back to the why. You know, we don’t usually, we don’t sit down and go, “Okay, today I’m going to start a writing project. And this writing project is going to be…” and then just come up with something in the moment. We sit down to write because we’ve been inspired by something. And so reconnecting with whatever that inspiration is, is usually what will really kickstart me. If I can remember, like with this novel that I’m working on now, I literally heard the main character’s voice in the middle of the night. She woke me up, and I sat straight up in the bed, and I heard her say to me, “I know what family I come from.” And so whenever I’m hesitant to sit down in a writing session or to approach that next scene, then I remember Libby’s voice, and that statement from her is sort of been the pivotal point around which the rest of the novel rotates. And so it reminds me that I really need to tell her story.

21:54
Melody
Whoa, that’s so powerful. I think we might have to have a whole podcast done. What are our conversations with our characters? That can be crazy, awesome, powerful, scary.

22:15
KimBoo
Make a list.

22:17
Melody
And I’ll have to say that one thing that helps me in the writing process has been the Women Writing for CHANGE writing sessions that Gina created. If you are not, haven’t joined that on Facebook, Women Writing for CHANGE. She’s put together kind of a free form – there’s a schedule right on the Facebook page. And that’s what it’s designed to do. Get, sit your seat in the butt. No! Your butt in the seat.

22:48
Gina
That works better.

22:51
KimBoo
Speaking of editing.

22:52
Melody
Yeah. And I find I get a lot done. And the accountability for me showing up and the support of the other fellow writers is really powerful.

23:09
Gina
Yeah, thanks. Thanks for mentioning that. We get together and write. And these are women from all over the world. Because, you know, Facebook lets us connect with people everywhere. We get together three to five times a week, and we just write for an hour at a time. And it’s a very open and non-judgmental, doesn’t matter what kind of genre you’re writing. You can journal if you’re not writing for publication, and we just log on, say “Hi, here’s what I’m working on today.” If you don’t have a project, I’ll give you a prompt and we write for an hour and then we check in afterwards.

23:43
KimBoo
It’s a great, great thing to have writers groups like that. I’m looking forward to participating a bit more in that when I’m not dealing with the day job, which is, some of us know, is not going to be on my agenda too much longer. Soon. Soon.

But you know, I think this whole conversation segues very nicely when you’re talking about the inspiration and the purpose of our next question is: What does writer’s block mean to you then? 

24:20
Gina
Oh, I don’t like that question.

Melody
Are you getting a block on that question?

KimBoo
Speaker’s block. 

24:31
Gina
You know, I’ve gone back and forth with whether I really believe in writer’s block or not. And I think that there are several things that cause writers what we like to define as writer’s block, and one of them is an obsess— This kind of goes back to what we were talking about is a preoccupation too early on with the craft that can block a writer feeling like, “Oh, I don’t know how to do this technical aspect of writing, and so I’m just not going to write it.” I also think, especially when it comes to memoir and some of the more personal writing, that blocks can happen when a person is not yet emotionally prepared to address whatever the topic is, even though they’re longing to talk about it, they just may not be ready. And so it may just need to sit a while. 

Sometimes I think that – and, KimBoo, I think that you and I might have had a talk about this recently – I think that as adults, we don’t like to think of ourselves as beginners. We don’t like to think about the fact that we can’t be good at something right off the bat. When we’re kids, everything is new to us, right? Anything that we try, we’re an amateur at. But as adults, we really resist that. We want to be the master of whatever it is that we’re doing, right from the get-go. But writing, just like any other art, dance, painting, any of the other disciplines, requires practice. And we don’t often talk about writing practice in terms of rehearsal. Like, this is not for publication; this is something I’m just gonna write for myself or just write to play around with. We don’t really give ourselves permission to do that very often. And I think that if we did that, writer’s block would occur less often.

26:45
Melody
That is so true. From my own experience of having unrealistic expectations of myself and my writing, is a surefire way to set up inhibitions and that fear of making mistakes, fear of making failure. I love what Anne Lamott said about writing, in the process of writing. She said, you need to be willing to, to create a shitty first draft. And I had just always remembered that. It’s okay to make mistakes. I’ve even written entire novels, and that never saw the light of day. But it was a good process and good exercise for me. So I totally get that.

27:30
Gina
Two things I always like to remind writers of . . . and I just lost them, I think. No, the first one is, the first one is that you write your drafts for yourself. And then when you go back and you do your revision, you think about your reader. So some writers get into writer’s block, or that sort of restriction when they think too soon about their readers. And so, really giving yourself permission to do the draft for yourself. Write it, write it as if you were writing something for only you to read.

28:07
KimBoo
Gosh, that’s really powerful. Thanks. I mean, I needed to hear that today. So whatever we take away from this podcast, that’s coming with me because that, that I needed to hear.  That’s powerful.

28:19
Gina
And I forgot the other one, but keep talking and it’ll come back to me.

28:25
KimBoo
I don’t, I’ve kind of lost the thread myself. I don’t even know whose turn it is to ask a question. Is it yours? Is it yours, Melody? Oh, well.

28:32
Melody
I can’t know. I can’t know. Whatever. Anyway.

28:39
KimBoo
Moving right along. I’m a technical person, and so I’m just gonna go ahead and lead into this one because I’m always curious about the tools that writers use, whether they’re actual tools like notebook and paper, or if they’re more digital tools, software. What has helped you as a writer? What tools, not necessarily you would recommend, everybody’s different, but that you find value in?

29:05
Gina
Well, I alluded to this. No, I specifically stated this earlier, that I really cherish the ability to write with a writing implement on paper and I’m a big fan of pencils. I had this conversation with a writer the other day. She was like, “I hate writing with a pencil. I hate the way that it feels on the paper.” And I feel like that scratchiness across the page, it makes me feel like I’m leaving evidence that I’ve been here. So I just love writing with a pencil on paper. But it really depends on what I’m writing. That’s the way I do my journaling. That’s the way I’ll do a lot of my ideation, when I’m first working on something. When I get to the point where I’m actually drafting out full scenes. I am still learning it, but I’m using Scrivener. And I know that it’s a whole lot more powerful than what I’m using it for right now. I will tell you that there is a big learning curve, but it seems like it’s going to be worth it. So I’m doing this novel in Scrivener kind of as a learning process for myself and then hopefully I can help other other people learn it too. Oh, Keely, Keely. I didn’t know we were gonna have another guest.

30:25
KimBoo
That’s the other host. Excuse you! I don’t know what she’s gonna make it in there. She’s been asleep this whole time. Right. It’s like, suddenly, I don’t know. She heard something I didn’t, I guess. Sorry about that. 

30:40
Gina
No problem.

30:43
Melody
So I’m curious, Gina, at what age you first recognized your urge or your inclination toward writing.

30:54
Gina
You know, I’ve thought about that a lot. And it’s hard for me to pinpoint that. I remember my childhood friend and I passing notes in class. If my dad is listening to this, no, I didn’t do it. Passing notes in class and we created the most elaborate stories. Some of them were about the things that were really going on in our oh-so-important lives as seventh and eighth graders and some of them were things we just made up. And I actually still have some of those in a chest. I should … oh, maybe I shouldn’t pull them out and look at them.

31:38
Melody
Oh, boy, yeah.

31:43
Gina
But I think that I, you know, I’ve always been a big reader. Books have had such an impact on my life in so many different ways. And I would completely escape into books when I was a child. And so I think that being on the reader side of it, that there was always some part of me that really longed to be able to write the kinds of things that I was reading. So I think the urge has always been there. I didn’t explicitly act on it until I was probably in my late 20s, when I really started thinking seriously about fiction. And that’s now many, many, many, many decades ago.

32:27
Melody
Ah, geez. You’re not that old.

32:34
KimBoo
Excuse me. So I think  we’re kind of  getting into the end part of the interview, but you did talk about your book a little bit earlier. And I know you’re probably not at the stage to really go into a lot of sharing that with the public and stuff. But I would love to hear more about your process in writing that book. And you know, the time and the energy it’s taken from you and how that’s impacting your life. Because I know it’s been going on and it has impacted your life. We’ve talked about this in the past. So I’d love to hear a little bit more about that.

33:13
Gina
Yes. So as I mentioned, I started the book because of this voice that I heard. A nine-year-old named Libby. The novel is set in 1968, which I didn’t recognize at the time in picking that time period to locate her – she told me that that’s when it was. I didn’t pick it. But I realized that that was such a pivotal time in my own life. That was when I was really trying to figure out where I fit into the world and what the world really meant. And there were so many – we’re talking the late 1960s. And so there were so many things that were going on in the world that I did not understand at that age. And so the the novel that I’m working on now is a combination of this young girl, and her mother, a widow, young widow trying to sort of make sense of everything that’s going on from the complications of their family relationships and the racism in their community, and the mixed messages that they get from people of authority. And so, examining my character’s perceptions of these things has really made me think very deeply about my own belief systems and how I came to believe a lot of the things that I believe.

34:48
KimBoo
And it sounds like the last couple of years of pandemic and stuff has probably put a laser focus on a lot of that for your story.

34:56
Melody
I was gonna say that topic is so relevant right now. I for one, I’m looking forward to maybe even being a beta reader when you get it further along.

35:11
Gina
It’s getting close. It’s got too many words right now, but it’s getting closer.

35:16
KimBoo
I don’t know, I’m not familiar with this concept of too many words.

35:23
Melody
My computer holds a lot of words.

35:27
Gina
Well, and, you know, I want to acknowledge too. Yes, I am an editor. Yes, I’m a coach, but I am not the be-all-end-all authority on this process that we call writing. I’ve had my own struggles as well. And quite frankly, that’s one of the reasons why I’ve gotten into doing the work that I’m doing. Because the best way to learn something is to teach it, right? Okay. So this book has been going on for decades, and it’s time for it to be done. Some of that has been my own resistance. My own, I’m not going to call it writer’s block because I don’t ever feel like I was blocked in terms of not being able to write, but more of a resistance because of that emotional readiness that I talked about earlier. Facing my own complicated feelings and prejudices and beliefs about things and really owning what it was that I wanted to say about that. So there was resistance around that. And then there was also the reality of life in general. Having a job that at times was requiring me to work for 70 hours a week and having no energy when I would come home from work to do any writing. And so I would go…I mean, there have been a lot of decades since I first started this book, and there have been decades when I was not writing on this book. And so it has been a living document for quite some time. But I haven’t spent decades writing it. I’ve spent some decades not writing.

37:10
KimBoo
Yeah, I’m familiar with that.

37:12
Melody
Again, I know nothing of what you speak, having a novel I’m currently working on, I was shocked to find out it’s been nearly 20 years since I first started writing it.

37:27
KimBoo
Oh, goodness, that’s the other side of living as long as we have. I’m not 25 years old and thought up something two years ago, and that was forever.

37:36
Gina
Yeah. Yeah. But the great thing about living as long as we’ve lived is the accumulation of ideas that we’ve got. I am never going to be able to write everything that I want to write. I have got two file boxes full of ideas. So you know, I got no excuse for not writing.

37:59
Melody
Wow. So Gina, if you could choose any author, who would you like to join you around the writer’s table?

38:13
Gina
Oh, dang. I have to pick one? Seriously?

38:19
KimBoo
Come on. How about your favorite for today?

38:24
Gina
Yeah, that’s probably a better question. And I’m gonna, and I know that it’s because of us talking about her quote, but I would say for now, that today, it would be Joan Didion. She was such… her perspective on life is like none other. And the way that she puts words together. It’s magic. It’s really, it really is magic. And I would love to have a conversation with her. I probably wouldn’t be able to keep up with her. But I would love to talk to her.

39:03
KimBoo
Be talked at by her, you know? Yeah.

39:07
Gina
And this is quite a contrast, I guess. But also, if I had to pick another one, somebody that would be super fun to have around the table would be Fran Lebowitz. She is a riot. I know a lot of people don’t appreciate her sense of humor, but she cracks me up.

39:26
KimBoo
Yeah, she’s sharp as a tack and hilarious. I totally would love to sit at a table as well. Again…

39:33
Gina
You can join us. 

39:36
KimBoo
Thank you. So we’re wrapping it up. I can’t believe it’s almost been 40 minutes already. So, but we do have a final question for you. This is another one of a question, I think Melody, you came up with this one, but it’s a good one. And I think it’s a great one to wrap up the interview and our talk today: give us three words. Three, I’m holding up my fingers so she can see me on the video, even though you listeners can’t see it, that describe what writing feels like to you.

40:12
Gina
The top of mind first one: frustrating.

40:21
KimBoo
Well, you’re honest. 

40:23
Gina
Yeah, yep, yep, yep. But in contrast to that, I would also say that it feels like freedom. When I have had a great writing session, there is nothing like the elation that comes after that. And the reason that I think I picked the word freedom is that creative spontaneity that happens sometimes when we write just feels like freedom to me. 

40:59
KimBoo
Nice

41:00
Gina
You want one more? Right?

41:01
KimBoo
Uh, uh. That’s two.

41:02
Melody
We did say three.

41:03
KimBoo
Frustration and freedom. And…

41:08
Gina
And I would say that writing feels sacred. 

41:15
KimBoo
Hmm. Oh, oh, yeah.

41:16
Gina
There is a… it feels like a gift. It feels like a gift. I started to say the word privilege, but that word is very loaded these days. But I feel like it is an honor to be able to write. I feel like I always want to respect writing and the writing process. And so it definitely feels sacred to me.

41:46
Melody
I like that. Yeah, that was my question. It was all touchy feely, for sure.

41:55
KimBoo York
But I love it. I love it. For those reasons. It really dials it down, boils it down. What’s a nonviolent version of that? But those are pretty powerful. I mean, frustration, freedom, and sanctity really are three very important aspects of writing for all of us. So I think you chose some pretty good words to give us some food for thought. 

Gina
Thank you. 

42:18
KimBoo
You have any wrap up to what we’ve talked about? We’re going to include information on how to find Gina and Melody, A Scout and even me. But it’s going to talk a little bit more on our show notes, when we post this episode, where you can actually read a little bit more about Gina, and what she has going on, including Women Writing for CHANGE and her WomanSpeak programs. But you have any words to wrap up with for us here today?

42:43
Gina
No, I just really enjoyed the conversation. You know, you and I, you guys and I have gotten together so many times and tossed around all that is writing. So I’m glad that we’re doing this in a way that, hopefully, other folks can enjoy and benefit from.

43:04
Melody
Thank you sisters of the writing. Yes.

43:09
KimBoo
Ah, yes, very much. So, next episode, I think I’m on the hot plate because we’re saving melody for last as a bridge into some of the other episodes we’ve got planned. Again, our website will have more information about that if you as a listener would like to go check it out. But we plan to do these roughly once a month, maybe some surprise episodes in between. We really hope that you subscribe. And if you’ve got any feedback for us, go to our website. We have email that you can click there so that you can reach out to us and suggest perhaps future topics or people you would like us to interview. In the meantime, we welcome you and thank you for joining us here around the writer’s table.

43:57
Dave Hogan
Thanks for joining us around the writer’s table. Please feel free to suggest a topic or a guest by emailing info@AroundTheWritersTable.com. Music provided with gracious permission by Langtry. A link to their music is on our homepage at AroundTheWritersTable.com. Everyone here around the writers table wishes you joy in your writing and everyday grace in your living. Take care, until next time.

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Around the Writer's Table and its co-hosts, Gina Hogan Edwards, Melody, A Scout, and Kimboo York own the copyright to all content and transcripts of the Around the Writer's Table podcast, with all rights reserved, including right of publicity. ​​You ​are welcome to share an excerpt from the episode transcript (up to 500 words) in media articles​, such as ​​The New York Times, ​Miami Herald, etc.; in a non-commercial article or blog post (e.g., ​​Medium); and/or on a personal social media account for non-commercial purposes, provided you include proper attribution and link back to the podcast URL. No one is authorized to use the Around the Writer's Table logo, or any portion of the transcripts or other content in and of the podcast to promote themselves.

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