Podcasts on Writing: The Best Writing-Related Podcasts
Finding time to sit down and read can be difficult. Of course, any freelance writer will recognize the irony in this—the written word is our job, after all. But in all honesty, sometimes it’s easier to take in new information via podcasts, and in particular, podcasts on writing.
Back when iPods were in everyone’s pocket, you could download an episode that you could listen to later—hence the pod part of the nam.. The best part is that you can squirrel them away for idle moments. Podcasts are great for long drives, commutes on public transportation, long walks, and so forth. Luckily for writers, there are a number of podcasts on writing, geared towards popular writers, trends and techniques for writing, as well as just talking shop.
In this article, we’ll take a look at a number of podcasts on writing, as well as some of my personal favorites that address writing from a different perspective.
Podcasts on Writing
Hosted by Ed Gandia, this podcast focuses on the nuts-and-bolts of what it takes to make more money and create a more efficient freelance business. Complete with interviews and personal anecdotes, Ed’s practical approach boils down the process of writing for business in a straight-forward manner. He regularly features successful guests, giving freelancers some motivation, as well as a sense of just where this industry can take you. This is, without a doubt, one of my favorite podcasts on writing.
If you’re looking to go from being a blogger to a successful freelancer or author, look no further than Susan Maccarelli’s Beyond Your Blog podcast. Susan’s focus is obviously blogging, but she cuts straight to the point and interviews editors about their specific publications. If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to write for a certain blog or related publication, you can hear it in her podcast. Susan also includes copious amounts of show notes that emphasize idiosyncrasies, so you can skip ahead if you only need a particular bit of information.
In a hurry? Writing Excuses is your ticket for on-the-go advice for writers. With fifteen minute episodes for busy freelancers, you don’t need to tax your attention span. Best of all, the revolving casts of hosts—Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler, and Dan Wells—keep things lively and humorous with guests that encompass nearly all aspects of setting down the written word. Going strong at ELEVEN seasons (since 2008), this is one of the best podcasts on writing out there.
Want to know what it’s like to self-publish directly from the horse’s mouth? This writing podcast is separated into two phases: the newer stuff and the “classics” section (read: published until 2015), featuring great advice for publishing your fiction and non-fiction works. The hosts tend to use some NSFW language, copious amounts of self-deprecating humor, and air their frustrations openly, it only adds to the authenticity that makes this a can’t-miss podcast for every topic related to writing.
Truth be told, sometimes the last thing I want to do is listen to podcasts on writing, or anything to do with writing for that matter. This is my day job after all, and there is a time to learn and a time to take a break.
If you’re thinking I’m trying to sneak in some of my own recommendations and tastes, you’re only half-right. The truth of the matter is that everything is grist for the mill; while it may be informative to listen to interviews with writers discussing their craft, that’s only one vantage point. Other disciplines and entertainment tends to bleed into my inspiration for writing—case in point, these podcasts are getting mentioned in this article. Pretty “meta”, eh?
The Joe Rogan Experience keeps me up-to-date with the zeitgeist. You can disparage him for his UFC participation and Fear Factor reputation, but Rogan has a talent for delving deep into esoteric topics with his guests that range from comedians, politicians, thinkers, and so forth. An added fringe benefit is that listening to this podcast has made me a better interviewer and provided better responses than more clinical approaches.
If I want something more esoteric and outside-the-box thinking, I recommend the Duncan Trussell Family Hour. Duncan Trussell is a stand-up comedian and writer, but his long-form interviews and monologues mesh Coast to Coast AM with modern discussions on theology, conspiracy theory, psychology, philosophy, virtual- and augmented-reality, and celebrity culture. At the very least, you can get a contact high just from listening to Duncan’s indefatigable enthusiasm.
Created by WNYC, Radiolab keeps me posted of newest trends and thought-provoking topics that range from transdermal cranial stimulation devices (“9-volt Nirvana”) to pieces on a man who obsessively records every conversation in his life. In other words, you won’t be bored. The podcast is often humorous, so every episode contains insights that are not only informative but entertaining. Often I’ll see something from this podcast that’s later written up in an article, so if you’re looking for hot topics, look no further.
The Tim Ferriss Show
Tim Ferriss, author of the best-selling 4-Hour Work Week, has his own podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show. If you’re familiar with his work, this podcast is a continuation of his approach. Not only does he interview celebrities and top-performers in a variety of disciplines, but he “dissects the secrets” (his words) that led them to their success and how they conduct their life, business, etc. Because he is a prolific writer, he frequently cites books that inspired him or suggests strategies that he’s used to simplify the process of writing. Best of all, he asks guests from all walks of life a fascinating question at the end of each podcast: “What is the book that you’ve gifted the most?”
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As our lives become busier, podcasts offer a solution to help freelance writers stay up-to-date on the best practices. Podcasts are always popping up on the Internet, so try to be on the lookout for new ones—chances are you won’t be disappointed no matter what niche you’re looking for. Not only can you make your commute more enjoyable, but you can also learn a thing or two. And who knows? You might even start a podcast of your ow