My Journey’s Beginning May Sound Familiar

My writer’s journey—perhaps not unlike yours—has been a bumpy one. When my days were still being hijacked by the stresses of my corporate job, I wrote in fits and starts, with moments of brilliance splattered between agonizing patches of non-productivity.

My writing practice at the time, which consisted of journaling, morning pages, short stories, and the beginnings of a novel scratched out between deadlines, was on-again/off-again/on-again. Whenever I could, I studied the writing craft; I went to conferences, workshops, and joined critique groups; I scheduled myself to attend an annual writing retreat just so I’d have some time to write.

But it was never enough.

Even though I’ve played and worked with words throughout my career, creating, writing, and editing a myriad of publications—newsletters, manuals, conference materials, magazines, you name it—something still wasn’t right for me. I held what I call an “inner disquiet” that would not go away.

I Had To Become Self-Aware As A Writer

I spent decades trying to fit into my life the kind of writing I longed to do. The challenges and frustrations of that made me intensely curious about what motivates us to write, what draws us to certain kinds of writing, what hinders us and makes us persist, how we act and react at each milestone in the creative process.

I studied books on creativity and I observed myself as I traveled the rocky path of trying to be a writer with the rest of my life whirling around me. I also paid attention to my writing friends and colleagues to see how their journeys might be similar or different from mine.

Those early explorations into the psychology of the writer’s mind were a hint about a future path I never saw coming until the middle of one long, sleepless night. That night lead me to the angst-filled decision to step away from the “security” of the corporate world.

I Created For Others What I Needed But Couldn’t Find

Now, through Around the Writer’s Table, I have the joy of hosting and teaching at writing retreats, editing books, and coaching extraordinary authors. Creating a business of service to writers and writing is my way of giving back to the community that supported me with love and grace through the turbulent early days of my writing life, and to those who continue to do so.

I am forever grateful because they’ve taught me that no one has to do everything on our own. That lesson has become one of two simple, driving philosophies for Around the Writer’s Table:

 

    • The first is: you never have to travel your writer’s journey alone. Writing is inherently solitary, of course. But that doesn’t mean you always have to be alone, that you have to be without encouragement, motivation, feedback, or other kinds of support you may need at the various stages of your journey. It’s often difficult for writers to find their “tribe,” though, to know who they can turn to and trust. Through retreats and group coaching, I bring together like-minded writers to walk the path together.
    • The second principle is: your writing life, on your terms. That is, I hold space for all authors to live a writing life on terms they define for themselves rather than one based on the pressures and expectations of community, family, and/or industry. Wherever you are in your writer’s journey, I will meet you there. I support published authors, aspiring writers, and women who write for their own growth, meaning-making, and self-development.

What We Give is Returned to Us Multifold

Every time I work with an author, I come out of the experience a better person, a better editor, and a better coach. Using the tools and resources I make available to authors, I also continue to cultivate my own writing skills; I walk that path with you. The consequences of prejudice and judgment, the dangers of not speaking up, and the complexities and dualities of family relationships fascinate me and those themes are unfolding in my novel-in-progress.

Outside of the writers I work with through Around The Writer’s Table, those who have influenced me include Carson McCullers, Eudora Welty, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor, Mark Twain, and too many more to name. Some of my contemporary favorites are Sue Monk Kidd, Ron Rash, Rick Bragg, Wiley Cash, Anne Lamott, Natalie Goldberg, and Elizabeth Gilbert.

Oh, And In The Rest Of My Life…

My cats, my husband Mark, and I live in the North Florida woods, surrounded by birds, squirrels, deer, wild turkeys, armadillos that destroy our yard—what’s left of it—and the occasional possum who threatens to attack Mark in the dark of night. Oh, yes, and mosquitoes the size of your fist. Well, . . . it is Florida. And it’s a grand life.

I’m a member of the Florida Writers Association, the Tallahassee Writers Association, the Creativity Coaching Association, the Nonfiction Authors Association, and Women’s Prosperity Network; and I’m a Certified Professional Speaker.

You can contact me at Gina@AroundTheWritersTable.com.

Life is a lot more interesting if you are interested in the people and the places around you. So, illuminate your little patch of ground, the people that you know, the things that you want to commemorate. Light them up with your art, with your music, with your writing, with whatever it is that you do.

~Alan Moore