How Podcasts Helped My Writing Career

podcastsBefore I quit my job, I had a forty-five minute drive to and from work. Often times I would listen to the radio, belt out some tunes, or put up with the movie being played on the DVD behind me. When I started thinking about writing again, I wanted some exercises to do to get me going. I heard about podcasts, but wasn’t entirely familiar with them. I thought, hey, I have well over an hour every day to put into listening to them, so why not try one?

I first found Writing Excuses. I downloaded the podcast during my lunch break. Four people sitting around, talking about writing, and giving an exercise at the end. I loved their tag line, “Fifteen minutes long, because you’re in a hurry, and we’re not that smart.” Every episode focused on a different part of writing, and each closed with a writing prompt. The show grew on me, and it’s how I found Mary Robinette Kowal, who is now one of my absolute favorite authors. I tune in to hear everyone, but her especially. I will admit, I never do the writing prompts, but their advice is definitely helpful. This season, number 10, they are taking a different approach and running the podcast like a class. The first episode is “Where Do You Get Your Ideas?” I have started listening to it, but haven’t finished it yet. For this season, I plan on doing the exercises. By the way, I had the chance to meet Mary Robinette Kowal at a book signing. Here we are 🙂



The second podcast I found, and the one I listen to the most religiously, is I Should Be Writing, run by Mur Lafferty. Each episode, she discusses something briefly, such as taking care of yourself, motivation, or attending cons, and then conducts an interview. She has interviewed both authors and agents. During NaNoWriMo, she has Rapid Fire podcasts, which are typically short. Starting with NaNo 2014 they were accessible only when you support her through Patreon. Her podcasts vary from twenty minutes to over an hour. It all depends on how much she has to say! She also has a feedback show every month when she answers listener questions.

The Creative Penn is one I listen to here and there, but it has awesome advice. Joanna Penn runs the podcast, and they usually are about an hour long. She covers everything from cover design to self-publishing to copyright issues. She also has guests on to offer their advice.

The Self Publishing Podcast introduced me to the craziness that is Johnny B. Truant, Sean Platt & David Wright. This one I have listened to a few, and they are wonderful podcasts, but tend to run well over an hour. Usually the first twenty to thirty minutes they shoot the shit, and the serious talk starts after that. Topics include is KDP Select Worth It?, How to Find Your Ideal Reader, and Hooking Readers.

So how have these podcasts helped my writing career? They’ve shown me all writers have been there. Every one of these podcasters has started writing just like me … and most have built successful careers. They offer advice and motivation when I need it most. They accept all writers as writers, and encourage everyone as best they can. They tell it like it is.

Podcasts are a wonderful addition to your listening library. I highly recommend them. If you have any you listen to, please, leave a link in the comments!