Ep.05: Boundaries as Self-Care for Creatives

Writers (and other creatives) often think of boundaries as negative things — restrictions that hold us back from actualizing our creative visions! But that is not always true, and in fact is often the opposite of true. 

In this episode, Gina, Melody, and KimBoo talk about the good and the bad of setting boundaries, and the different kinds of boundaries a writer sets sometimes without even realizing it! Is an outline a boundary? Yes! Is setting aside writing time and telling your family not to disturb you a boundary? Yes! Is using specific writing tools a boundary? YES! 

You will be surprised to discover the boundaries you already use as a writer, and might even find some new ones that help you explore your creativity in new ways! 

Thanks for joining us Around the Writer’s Table!

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Ep.05: Boundaries as Self-Care for Creatives – TRANSCRIPT

Dave Hogan
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.

00:41
KimBoo York
Welcome back, y’all. This is the fifth episode of Around the Writer’s Table. You’re here with KimBoo–that would be me–and Gina and Melody, and today we’re going to talk about boundaries and self-care. It’s a little bit of an expansion on the previous episode, where we talked about the seasons of writing. It was starting our new series on that particular topic, which is all based on Melody, A Scout’s book Soul of the Seasons

So as we go through the year, and we talk about the different seasons, we’re going to be bringing up issues that are related to those and doing some independent episodes like this one, where you don’t necessarily have to have read the book or listened to the previous episode to engage with the topic we’re going to be talking about today. But it is the springboard for what we’re talking about today. 

So in case you missed it, spring–and Melody’s certainly going to have to jump in here and correct me because I know I’m gonna get some of these things wrong–but spring as a season of creativity, which is what we were talking about in the last episode, is a time of new beginnings, explorations. If you think of spring, where everything has kind of nestled in over the winter and germinated, and now it’s springing back up into the world, and you’re having a lot of ideas and your creativity is an overflowing well. 

2:20
And one of the topics that we brought up a little bit in that episode was the topic of boundaries and the topic of self-care, because it’s easy to become overwhelmed in that type of situation. And also other issues such as routines and habits, things that are strongly encouraged for writers. We always hear the thing: “Write every day,” but not necessarily sometimes putting something over your life, your creativity, to tie it down is the right way to go. Sometimes, there are other types of boundaries you can put in place. Some that aren’t even really boundaries or limitations. So we’re going to explore all of those issues. 

So with that in mind, this is a general introduction into ideas of boundaries. And the term has such a negative connotation for a lot of people. So I want us to open our minds, kind of step past that. 

And I’m going to kick it over to Gina right now because I know she’s looked into this issue, especially with all the writing, authors, all the writers. Writing authors? Don’t we all write? You can tell I need more coffee today, but all the writers that she’s worked with and the different ways she’s had to help people approach these kinds of issues. So, Gina, would you talk to us a little bit about some of your insight into boundaries concerning writers and how that relates to self-care?

3:46
Gina Hogan Edwards
Sure, like you mentioned, a lot of people think of boundaries sometimes in a negative way, like they are things that prohibit us from doing things. But you can think of a boundary as a routine or a habit. Melody reminded me that Brene Brown defines boundaries as our internal lists of what’s okay for us, and what’s not okay for us. And so thinking about boundaries as those sort of internal guidelines, if you will, for how we want to go about our writing practice, how we want to live our lives for that matter. 

4:19
I’d love for each of us to go around and give an example of some sort of boundary that we have around our writing practice so that our listeners can get an idea of what we’ve created for ourselves and then maybe give them some ideas for what they can create for themselves. So be thinking about that. 

4:54
For myself. I have a number of my own personal writing boundaries, but first I want to give you an example from someone else. I attended a reading by the author Ron Rash, who is a professor at Western Carolina University, teaches writing. And one of his students was in attendance and I chatted with her. She told me that when he comes into the office every day, he sets aside separate writing time from his teaching time, and that he has a ritual around setting up his desk for how he’s going to write that day, putting the pencils in a particular location, putting his notepads in a particular location. And while that might be considered a ritual, to me in a way, that’s also a boundary, because he is eliminating things that he doesn’t want to distract him, as he’s doing that. 

Kimboo York
Mmm, I like that.

5:56
Gina
Yeah, I like that a lot. So it’s a very simple thing. And it sounds like it wouldn’t have that great of an effect. But he needs that apparently, to get himself into the mental and the physical state to enter his writing practice. 

So a boundary that I have created around my own writing practice. I am going to have to think about that. Honestly, I realized in thinking about this for our talk today that I have let go of some boundaries that I’ve created for myself. One boundary that I used to have was that I always physically put myself into a place where I could not have distraction from the people in my life who know me and want to sit down and have conversations with me. It might be a coffee shop even, which a lot of people think of as having lots of distractions because there’s lots of noise around you. However, what that would allow me to do is to escape my normal life to go into a physical space where I wouldn’t get phone calls. I wouldn’t have my husband walking into my office and interrupting me. I would physically be in a space where I could not be interrupted.

7:20
KimBoo 
But then the pandemic hit.

Gina 
Then the pandemic hit. Boundary unable to be performed. Boundary unable to be upheld.

KimBoo 
Boundary does not exist at this time. Please check back later.

Gina 
Yes. What about you, KimBoo? What kind of boundaries do you have for yourself?

7:46
KimBoo 
I really had to think about it myself. As you know, I’m generally a pantser. I’m in the process of wanting to create some boundaries in the form of outlining or thinking ahead on scenes as I move into dictation as a tool for my writing. So those are some boundaries and, you know, new fences I’m creating for myself. 

But one of the big ones, I realize, is the tools that I use. For instance, I use Scrivener. It’s a great program for writers. It’s available on Windows Mac. If you’re on Mac, there’s a similar program called Ulysses that’s up and coming, that’s very popular. Hardly the first writers’ software program app out there, but I use it extensively and almost exclusively with my fiction writing. It really sets a, I don’t want to say “sets a mood.” I mean, it’s not like lighting candles or something like that… Barry White playing in the background. But it does set the mood of being in the fiction writing space. 

8:55
I use Google Docs a lot. I also use Libre Office, or used to be called Open Office, for more formal documents. And I do like Google Docs for the ease of collaboration, its convenience. Yeah, I just have some notes to scratch up. I do a lot of my nonfiction work for my Task Mistress site on personal project management, I do that on Google Docs. 

But my fiction writing is bound and set within Scrivener. And I have found that that really helps put me in the mindset of divorcing myself from the reality around me in order to focus on the writing that I’m doing within that program. So it’s kind of like entering a virtual room, I think, in a way. I’ve set the boundaries of the walls of the app itself, because I really don’t think of myself as someone who does like rituals around writing or a place I like to write. 

But I’ve realized I really use the software as an extension of that, of that atmosphere of that place, that sense of place, that sense of ritual, of opening it up and setting it to the screen that I want and doing that kind of thing. So I would put that under the umbrella.

10:14
Gina 
I’m glad that you brought that up because the example that I gave is more oriented towards putting boundaries around the people in my lives, creating boundaries around my interactions with them. Whereas yours is specifically about the writing practice itself. And we’re going to get into that a little bit more further on in the discussion. 

Melody, what kind of boundaries do you set around your writing?

10:38
Melody, A Scout 
So I love this topic. It took me later in life to become more familiar with the concept of boundaries. And I kind of expand my definition of boundaries to more than a routine or a habit, or a setting of a space, but to also the actions taken to protect those things – like routines and habits – that are essential to myself and my wellbeing in order to meet my bigger vision of what I want to do. 

And one of the best things I think I have done for myself in that regard is becoming more intimately acquainted with my own boundaries. As I became more self-aware of what my boundaries were, I could communicate those to others. And, also I see there is internal and external boundaries. 

So for example, an external boundary would be, “Sorry, best bud, I can’t have lunch with you today, I have set aside a time to do some work on my book.” The internal boundary is the commitment to doing that, and not allowing life or even perhaps the influence of others, “Oh, come on, you can do that later,” whatever, which is easy to fall into, especially if we’re people pleasers. 

I had to be engaged in rigorous self honesty about what it was exactly I was willing to do or not do. So, for myself, setting aside time on my calendar and writing it in ink, meaning it’s not negotiable. That’s my time that I’ve cut out to do it. So that’s just one way I carve out and engage in boundaries with my writing.

12:43
Gina 
Thank you, Melody. And that brings up the third aspect, because not only do we need to have boundaries with other people, and we set boundaries around the work that we do, but we have to set boundaries with ourselves too. So, to me, there’s three aspects of that boundary setting. So let’s talk a little bit about the boundaries around the work itself. 

You know, the great thing about being a fiction writer, especially, but really any kind of writer, is that we have this unlimited possibility. We have imagination and inspiration that are there for us to access in our work. And in a way, sometimes, while that is fabulous and wonderful, it can almost feel overwhelming. 

And I have seen that actually be something that stifles writers because they either don’t know how to begin because there’s so many possibilities, or they don’t know how to end a piece of work because there are so many possibilities. I myself have experienced that particular situation. So it’s useful for us to create boundaries around what it is that we’re writing, for ourselves. And for some people that can be an outline. For some people, that could be a one sentence summary of the scenes. For some people, it might be as loose as knowing what the ending is going to be, but giving themselves the flexibility and the permission to pants-it toward that ending. 

But creating some sense of a boundary around what you’re going to write so that those endless possibilities of what it could be don’t lead you down these paths that turn out to be dead-ends because you got off topic or you took your characters in a way that they didn’t really want to be taken that doesn’t serve the story any longer. 

Does that make sense to you, ladies?

15:05
KimBoo 
It really does. And especially with your shout-out to pantsers, which I know you’re talking about me. Can’t deny that. But…

Melody
And me.

15:18
KimBoo
Right!? It’s interesting. We all have different styles of writing. Yeah, outline is usually, I think, the go-to that most people take. But I think the value of being self-aware – and I’m kind of circling back to what Melody was talking about – was that self-awareness, like: what are your personal internal boundaries and what inspires you and what doesn’t inspire you. And I find that sometimes I have to take the idea of, gosh, I’m having trouble articulating this, Gina. But it’s really the idea of following the path, but staying on the path, even if you’re not sure where the path is going. Does that metaphor kind of make sense a little bit, because that’s how I often feel as a pantser.

16:02
Melody 
It does. And I think that being a pantser has its values. It’s a great, expansive way to invite in your creativity without limits. But as Gina talked about earlier, it can be overwhelming because too many possibilities, and maybe we’re too fluid and too loose with it. And it’s easy for me anyway, to go down a rabbit hole and off, you know, could… 

KimBoo 
Off the path completely and completely off the path into a rabbit hole. 

Melody 
Yeah, let me research about bolts on a cruiser. Let’s just go too far off. I have to… becoming more self-aware helps me to realize if I’m being too fluid. Am I acting impulsively? Am I easily distracted? And when we have our vision, I think what’s been helpful to me, even more so than outlines at times, is what is the vision for my project? So if we hold that loosely, there’s flexibility in there, but we still have our eye on our vision and can keep moving towards that. And you can ask, “Does this move me closer or further away from my vision?” And that’s been helpful for me.

17:23
Gina 
Yeah, we can create boundaries that can stop serving us, that become too restrictive. And on the other hand, our boundaries might be too loose. And so that self-awareness of, “Yes, I have this boundary, but I’m realizing that it is not allowing me to go down a path that I really do think would serve the story,” and being flexible enough to adjust. And vice versa. You know, if you end up finding that your boundaries are so loose that you’re just not getting anywhere, or you’re spinning out in 4000 different directions, being able to adjust your boundaries is just as important as being able to establish them to begin with, I think,

Melody 
Oh, absolutely. 

KimBoo
Yeah, I agree with that.

18:23
Melody  
The connection between growth and boundaries is very strong. I’d like to read a quote from my mentor Eliot Cowan in Plant Spirit Medicine. And he said that, “Growth is the expansion of limits and boundaries; it is the function of all living beings to take care of their boundaries.” And there’s a lot to unpack in that sentence. But the connection for me is again, remembering the vision, while holding loosely how we move towards that vision, I think, is most helpful. When we hold it too lightly, becomes too constrictive, we choke off our creativity. 

And, how can you tell when you’re feeling out of balance as far as your boundaries? Because honestly, sometimes I don’t even know something’s a boundary until it just comes to the surface. Anger is one of those ways. It’s the emotion that pops up when there’s been a boundary violation. So when I pay attention to when I’m feeling resentful, put upon, taken advantage of, even within myself, to me, that’s a clue that I need to retrace my steps and see where a boundary has been violated for myself or for others.

19:51
KimBoo 
I’m going to take this a little bit meta right now because when I’m listening to you right now and you’re talking about anger and feelings of helplessness and stuff, I know we’ve all talked about this separately, but essentially the world around us right now, there’s a lot of chaos. This is a good way to look at self-care as well, because sometimes self-care is setting up those boundaries to keep the world around us out, to protect something sacred, to protect our creativity, while there are other times when we need to open ourselves up to the world, other people, current events, whatever it may be, in order to enrich our own creativity. 

So I think that’s a little bit of a balance. I’m not really certain if I’ve done a good job of balancing it. In fact, I would say, probably done a piss poor job of it. But in the bigger world and setting these boundaries within that world and trying to juggle self-care issues into that . . . that’s a lot. I’m just, I admit, I’m struggling with that, honestly.

21:04
Gina 
There’s so much of this that I think relates to self-awareness. And I think as much as any of us would like to say, “Oh, I’m gonna sit down and write eight hours a day,” we know that ain’t possible, honey. Especially if you’ve only been writing for 15 minutes a day, 

I see this when I hold writing retreats, that women will come to the retreat with these aspirations of spending the entire time doing nothing but writing, when in their real life, outside of that retreat, they’ve only been writing for maybe 15 minutes a day, or two or three times a week. And to make that leap is not possible. But knowing what our capacities are, related to self-care, knowing that if you’re going to be sitting in a chair for four hours, let’s say, you’re going to have to give your body a break. You’re going to have to be sure that you’re taking care of yourself, because if you don’t, it’s like putting the oxygen mask on; you can’t take care of your story if you’re not taking care of yourself. You can’t take care of your characters if you’re not taking care of yourself.

KimBoo 
I like that. I like that perspective. You can’t take care of your story if you don’t take care of yourself. Like that’s powerful. I like how you phrase that. That’s awesome. 

22:40
Melody 
Absolutely. Well, this is like a conversation the three of us had just the other day about self-care and the writing process, and that really reminds me of even when I have the structure and my ideals for my writing project, if I hold it too tightly, I don’t allow for the other things that go on in my life.

Recently, I’ve been dealing with some health challenges. And I had knee surgery recently. And knowing I’d be out of commission on other parts of my life, I set all kinds of fantastically ambitious  writing ideals for myself, right? I’m going to do this, and I’m going to do that. But when it came down to it, I just didn’t have the bandwidth or the physical capacity to do it. So I had to be realistic with myself about what could I do? How long could I sit my butt in a chair and maintain, and be focused? 

I can’t remember who said it – might have been Anne Lamott – but she talked about some days, writing a really good sentence is about as good as it gets. So if we look at ourselves with compassion and that expansiveness we often extend to others, I think that only enhances our writing process.

24:21
Gina 
I’ve been doing a good bit of reading lately about the character trait of high sensitivity. Just to give you kind of a snapshot, a highly sensitive person is one whose nervous system responds to the environment more intensely than the average person. And it’s a trait just like having green eyes. It’s not a defect. It’s not a syndrome. It’s a characteristic. And I think a lot of writers tend to be HSPs. And one of the things that we really have to do is pay attention to our nervous system. Overstimulation, overwhelm affect us more than the average person and so it’s easy for us to become overwhelmed by the possibility of too many decisions to make, too many choices in our writing. And, again, that’s where we can use the outline to create boundaries, or we can narrow things down in terms of how we want to define our characters or other aspects of our story. 

So KimBoo, I’m going to throw it to you, because I know that in the realm of fanfic that you’ve talked a lot about decision fatigue. So take us down that road.

25:57
KimBoo 
All right, well, when I was developing my course Out from Fanfic, which is an online course available, it’s specifically designed for fanfiction writers who want to make the jump into original fiction. 

The big hurdle for me in creating that course was defining what the problem was that they were facing, because I have a lot of friends who are in that process, or have gone through that process, spent years going through that process. And I realized that, in a lot of ways, it was about decision fatigue, which is a very interesting phenomenon. It’s been studied. There’s research out there about it, where the cost of making decisions uses up your mental energy to the point where, as you make more decisions and more decisions and more decisions, the quality of your decisions declines – that’s one aspect – and your exhaustion increases exponentially. 

26:55
So the decision fatigue sets in, because you’ve decided that your characters are… you’ve written up their characteristics, and you have all these options available to you about what they could be. So by the time you’ve written out a character sheet, you’ve exhausted your ability to try to define what the plot is, or define what the character arc is. And doing all of that from scratch can be really, really difficult. 

So, in fanfiction, what I realized – and some people will say that this is why fanfiction is easier; I have some issues with that as a statement, but it does provide what I call the parameters, which is the boundaries. Here’s the character. Here’s their background story. Here’s the setting that they’re in. Here’s the trauma that they’ve lived through. Here’s the people they love. And here’s where they’re from. 

27:49
And these boundaries, when people sit down to write fanfiction, they can then explore the things that really interests them about it. Like, did the character have an alcoholic father? It might be a throwaway line in the series, or the show or the movie or the book. But that person could sit down and really explore the effects of that parent’s alcoholism on the main character, just as an example. 

28:17
So I developed the whole course, and I realized I actually started using it more consciously – I think I was using it kind of at a subconscious level – but more consciously, of finding (and some people call them tropes), but finding the parameters around the characters that you love to write around the settings that you love to write. And, for instance, even genre can be a parameter or boundary. If you really love writing science fiction, then that is a parameter around what you can write. And instead of thinking of it as a restriction, think of it as you have the garden that you’re going to grow all these great story ideas out of. 

So it’s very easy, I think, when writers get into the idea that, like we talked earlier about how spring is this time of exploration and creativity and things are growing really fast. And we live here in Florida where things over-grow really well. I’m like fighting the vines out on my front porch right now. But this is a way to make it so we can have the framework in place so that we can be creative within it, instead of spending all of our energy and ending up in decision fatigue, just trying to put stakes in the yard, for instance.

29:39
Yeah, so that’s kind of where I come from with that idea. It’s not – I really try to push that in the course – these aren’t to restrict you and hold you in place. It’s to give you that framework, so that you can then go wild inside of it and just explore everything that you want to because you’re not spending all of your energy just hammering the stakes into the ground. 

So that’s really where it came from and why I think it’s very important for these types of ideas of boundaries and parameters, or whatever we want… outlining, if that’s the way you want to go for writers, because in a way that sets free your creativity. It really does allow you to keep from getting buried by the weeds. I’m really not a gardener, so, you know, to Melody, like yeah, whatever your metaphor is quoted, but it’s totally okay, good.

Melody 
It absolutely does.

30:35
Gina 
I love that idea of, I mean, you use the word framework, having this sort of starting point in fanfiction. I think that that’s a great way for someone, especially who may just be starting out as a writer, to start getting their practice in without having the unlimited possibilities. And like you said, wearing themselves out just making decisions about what they might write about. They’ve got a starting point. They’ve got a place that they can begin and some other guidelines in the original work that create the boundaries of the sandbox, create the borders that play within.

31:25
KimBoo 
Yeah, you see that in the fanfiction all the time, people coming in who haven’t written before. “And this is my first fanfic. Please be kind.” That’s a pretty common statement. But it really does give them a comfort zone, that framework to explore things they wouldn’t have ever sat down to explore, having to create completely new characters and create completely new concepts from scratch. So there’s a definite benefit to it.

I highly encourage people, even if you’re a little uncomfortable with it. You never have to show anybody, could be your secret. You never have to tell. But take your favorite book or take your favorite movie, and you take one character from that and explore that character’s worldview, based on the canon or the story that you’re pulling from, and explore it. See how that feels. I think you could really come up with some interesting ideas, even despite the fact that you’re writing with such a tight constraint based on that character and that property. It’s a good exercise.

32:31
Melody 
It is a good exercise. I really like that. And structure and boundaries, even though they get a bad rap and too restrictive, there’s actually safety and comfort in having this structure, because you know where your edges are, even if they’re loosely defined. And you can relax into that. And I totally get the decision-making fatigue thing. I know that if I cannot make a decision, it is time for me to take a break from something. Or if I make my decision, I change it again. And I change back again. It’s time for me to take a break or to let it go. 

And I found this to me, in a way, come to light recently while I was working on my novel. And my main character is a woman, set in the early 1900s. And she’s immigrating from Prussia to South Dakota, U.S. And I had this fantasy of this character being a strong, independent woman, and she does have elements of that. But I had not allowed for the climate and the time in history that she had to live with. And so I had to really change the way she made decisions for herself in her life, to get to her goal, which would not be things that I would have thought in my idealized fantasy world. She should do it this way, strong. And she should be outspoken. Well, in some places that got you killed. So I had to work within my framework, but be loose enough with it to remember the vision and the parameters of my story and the nature of my character as well.

34:47
KimBoo 
I think it’s interesting because both you and Gina are currently working on fiction novels that are set in historical time periods. And that is automatically a bunch of parameters that you guys have to work within. 

Like as a fantasy writer, I make my own parameters. Like, “Yeah, I think I have dragons, but they’ll only get to be three feet long. That’s as big as the dragon…” Like, that’s totally the parameter I’m going to make up for myself that has nothing to do with reality. 

But you guys really have that structure, framework of what actually happened in history, what people were actually going through. And I know, Gina, you actually had to change a plot point recently due to your trip to Alabama with your father, about Gwen’s brother. I know I don’t want to give too much away of the story. But I do know that that was something that you recently experienced.

35:36
Gina 
Yeah, I had wanted to have Denny, that’s his character name, I had wanted to have him involved in the Student Nonviolent [Coordinating] Committee in the ’60s. And it turned out, at some point which predates my story just by a few years, white people were no longer allowed to be members. So he couldn’t be a member because he’s white. So I did have to change that plot point in my story. 

And you talking about… KimBoo, you were talking about the kinds of writing that you do. And this goes back to us being self-aware. You know, what are we responding to? What do we love to do? What are we capable of? What are our challenges? And what are our skills? And I love to read science fiction and fantasy, but you talk about some decision fatigue. I know that I would be incapable of doing all of the world building, in addition to the character and the plot, and, and, and so, you talk about some decision fatigue.

36:44
KimBoo 
Oh, lordy, girl. Let me tell you, like recently – now, you got me going. Recently, the world that I’m building has a base 60 concept of math, which is what the ancient Babylonians had as well. And so when you look at base 60, and this is where we get the 360 degrees for our compasses, and where we get 60 seconds for our minutes and our 60 minutes for our hours. That all goes back to what they call a sexagesimal system. And I’m trying to recreate the compass. Like, if you’re not calling it east, west, and north, what, how are you, how do you describe north-northeast? Girl, that stalled me for hours. Just like, this was a bad idea. Who thought of this?

37:37
Gina 
Stalled you for hours and would completely shut me down. I know my boundary when it comes to that kind of writing. Not gonna go there. 

So ladies, we have hit on a lot of things related to boundaries, related to self-care. We’ve talked about the physical aspects of our environment. We’ve talked about the work itself. Creating boundaries around story. We touched on our anger, our emotions, and what they have to inform us about our boundaries. And I mentioned HSPs, highly sensitive people, which I hope is something we’ll get to talk more about. 

And we also touched on other people, creating… and we just, you know, barely touched the surface on that… but I think in a future episode, we’re going to be talking more about boundaries in terms of the other people in our lives. When to share or not. Who earns the right to see our work? Or not? 

So we’ve talked about a lot of different aspects of boundaries. What else do we have to add to this conversation? Anything else that you’d like us to think about?

38:57
Melody 
I would like to maybe give a couple of brief exercises for people who are challenged – have boundary challenges. And so pretty simple. If you feel like you’re maybe too fluid. If you’re impulsive, easily get distracted, go down the rabbit hole. Then I would try creating a little outline for your writing project. And see how that feels. And it doesn’t have to be big and elaborate. It can be just simple. It could be an outline for one scene, and go with that and see how that feels to work within those parameters. 

What do you notice about yourself? Or what do you notice about your writing? 

If you’re somebody who’s too restrictive, where it has to be this way, I’ve got my outline, it has all the details, is 12 pages long, I would recommend setting aside a time – I would say an entire day would be great, but if you can only carve out an hour or two – to be very aware and intentional about your choices, and this has to do not only with writing, but just everything in life, in general. 

So carve out a period of time, let go of any routines and schedules you would normally do, and just intuitively check in yourself with your body at each moment and ask do I want to do this or not? Let go of all those preconceived ideas. Also, do it without judgment. And then just do what you and your body feels led to do.

Now, some of you that are used to having a very structured life, you might need to breathe a little bit. I remember the three of us talking about this when we were gathering once, and somebody – I won’t say but their initials are Gina Edwards – got up and walked across the room and put her head between her knees at the thought of going an entire day without a schedule.

KimBoo
Oooo, called out. Someone got called out.

Gina
See ya! Bye.

41:20
Melody 
But this is a great way of expanding, flexing your creativity, and relying on the trust. There’s some part of you that knows exactly what you want and need in the moment, what you want and need for your project. And you can trust that part of you, that will come back to your vision, that’ll come back to what you really have invested with your heart in this and do what needs to be done. 

I’d love people to write in, go to our website AroundTheWritersTable.com and write in what their experience of doing this exercise or have some exercises of their own or comments about boundaries.

Gina 
Yeah, we’d love to hear what our listeners’ boundaries are. We have a comment section on our page for this episode, where you can go in and let us know, and we’d love to hear from you.

KimBoo 
Yeah, definitely. Absolutely. I guess that’s it. Are we done for this next episode? We’re doing spring, the seasons of writing, is our topic for our next episode, which would be episode six. Can you believe it? That would be six months of us during this podcast? 

Gina 
You mean summer.

KimBoo 
Oh, summer. Yeah. What am I thinking?

Gina 
We’re past spring, especially here in Florida where it’s 95 degrees.

KimBoo 
Yes. And it’s heatwave all across the country right now, as we’re recording this in mid-June. So yeah, summer. I think we’ll all be ready to talk about summer if only to escape the summer heat outside. But we’ll be doing that. Melody, what’s a couple of topics? Seasons of writing? Summer? What can our listeners look forward to for that episode?

43:09
Melody 
Wow, summer is a really cool season, because it’s not only about maturing the project you’ve started and built in spring, but it’s about communication and connection with others. It’s relying on your community, your writing community, your friends. It’s about communicating clearly what we want for ourselves and our project, and doing it from a place that is centered in the heart. So I’m pretty excited about talking about summer.

43:43
KimBoo 
Yeah, that sounds good. That sounds a lot more fun than actually living through summer this summer. I’m having to walk my dog early and late so that she’s not out when the sun is out. So that’s where I’m at with summer. But that does sound great. 

And we could talk about community. One of the things Gina was talking about earlier with us before we started the podcast was talking about some of the issues of building community and as you were saying earlier too, Gina, when to share as a boundary but also community, an effective community, of building that community of people you trust. So, really looking forward to that episode as well. 

So I think that’s it. I do actually have to get to writing today. That’s on my agenda, my schedule, my boundaries. Yeah. So anything else to add, ladies, before we sign off?

Gina 
Just thanks for listening.

Melody 
Yeah, tell your friends.

KimBoo 
And leave a comment on our website.

Gina 
Absolutely.

KimBoo 
There you go. All right, y’all. Thanks.

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 writer’s 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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