I’m so bored I wanna die! Poor mum heard that a lot. I hate to be bored.
Whether I’m walking, on the train or having a bath, I need to be entertained. Man, how I wish there had been podcasts when I was a kid (as well as the internet, mp3 players and jeggings).
While I’m a huge fan of public radio and stream it all day at work (thanks, boss), podcasts have saved my sanity during those twenty minute walks every morning from the train station to work and then back again at night. And I’m not afraid to admit that my tastes range from the dirty birds over at Jay and Silent Bob Get Old, to Why? Philosophical Discussions of Everyday Life.
These days, I listen mostly to writing podcast—anything to do with tips, inspiration and interviews will make it onto my Walkman, and while there are a lot out there, there is a lot of crap to wade through. The truly good ones stand the test of time because they’re clever, informative, full of tips and creative inspiration.
I have listened to hundreds, alas, only 9 are worth recommending and you really must download and listen to these while you’re walking the dog or on the treadmill, driving or travelling on the train. I don’t have itunes any longer, and download straight to my android with the ipp podcast app, which I can’t recommend enough.
1. The Writing Show: Author and story consultant, Paula B, is my number one go-to for real tips about writing. This show has been going for more than five years and has covered everything from point of view, tense, procrastination, writing YA fiction, finding inspiration, agents, promotion on the web, and so on. A real must. That said, the show ended at the end of 2012, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go through the archives.
3. I Should be Writing: I have a love/hate relationship with this podcast. Mur Lafferty is a published author who, like the rest of us, suffers from the usual doubts and anxieties that comes with the territory as a writer. I’ve bonded with Mur and her anxieties; she gets me and I get her. But it’s also frustrating to know that it simply doesn’t stop being hard!
4. Litopia: I must admit that I am very new to Litopia and it is going to be a regular on my Walkman.Litopia After Dark is a round table discussion with authors in different parts of the world, each bringing a topic for discussion. As a huge fan of swearing, this show hits some high notes for me, so if you’re squeamish, you’ve been warned. F-words aside, Litopia After Dark is funny as hell, and very informative. Hunt down the Seth Godin episode. An absolute inspiration on most days, Seth explains self-publishing in the most succinct way I’ve heard yet. Also check out Litopia’sDebriefer, covering the literary legal stoushes in the news.
5. The Creative Writing Podcast: For a short time in 2006-7, Tom Occhipinti offered this gem of a podcast, with such episodes as: Characters of Tragedy and Redemption and How Writing is Like Painting. In 2009, Tom promised the show was coming back and then he simply disappeared. But you can still download the 21 original episodes through iTunes. (iTunes)
6. Writing Excuses: Like The Writing Show, I’m hooked. Speculative fiction has never sounded so good, nor so funny. Authors Brandon Sanderson, Howard Tayler, and Dan Wells are hilarious. I had written off genre fiction for the most part, but these guys now have me thinking about it a little differently. Despite their genre bent, the advice they give is relevant to all writers. My only criticism is that the show is only 15 minutes long.
7. Odyssey SF/F Writing Workshop Podcasts: This podcast features lectures from the Odyssey writing workshops held each Northern Summer in New Hampshire (US). While the workshops cater to SF and Fantasy writers, the lectures cover universal writing themes such as: Creating Unsympathetic Protagonists, How to Make Readers Squirm, and other craft-related topics. (iTunes)
8. The Creative Penn: Joanna Penn is a British ex-pat, living in Australia but heading back to the UK. Luckily for listeners, the show will go on. Joanna interviews writers about book marketing, social media, writing chic lit, and about the psychology of writing, an area of interest for the host. Joanna is a real pleasure to listen to and manages to ask her guests all the questions you want answers to. (iTunes)
9. Wordplay: KM Weiland shares terrific, five minute morsels for writers, often in the form of “best” lists like: 8 Signs Your Writing Is Stuck In a Rut and 10 Steps For Getting Past the ‘This Stinks’ Blues. A few of my favourite episodes include: What ‘I Love Lucy’ Can Teach You About Writing Ticsand Description: Friend or Foe. Videos are also available on YouTube (iTunes) (YouTube)
Comments are closed.