I loathe talk radio. Always have. Since I was a kid growing up in a house where Rush Limbaugh’s commanding voice took daily center stage, I’ve avoided listening to the droning of words. When trapped in a car blasting morning shows, news shows or football games, I develop a headache, increased blood pressure and a much more rapid heart rate. (I wish I were exaggerating.) Enter the world of podcasts.
Many of my friends have listened to podcasts for years. They talk about what so-and-so said on the such-and-such podcast. I’ve heard how great they are for car drives or chores around the house. But, I have to say I was still leery. (Remember the headaches and increased heart rate?)
I gave them a shot!
As I dove into the public writing world earlier this year, I kept seeing more and more amazing podcasts. Friends would share links to episodes they really liked. I would see Twitter blasts for topics that caught my eye. My skepticism slowly gave way to curiosity, so I took my little Podcasts icon out of the “Junk I’ll Never Use” folder on my phone—What? You don’t have one of those?—and started searching.
Turns out … I love podcasts. I especially love podcasts about writing and reading and literature. Over the past couple of months, my schedule has been too full with writing and editing for me to listen often; but, before that, I spent time every day listening to various podcasts.
My Top Ten Podcasts
Today I want to share some of my favorites with you. Some are perfect for writers, some for readers and some for language nerds like me! A quick word about the order of these podcasts: I’m going to plant the #1 flag where it is but say that all the rest are a giant cluster that slightly overlaps #1 in some ways. That’s my wordy way of saying they’re all great, and I don’t like to pick favorites.
1. THE CREATIVE PENN PODCAST I simply adore Joanna Penn. Her podcast is super conversational. I feel like I’m chatting with a friend over a cup of tea. Plus, she is a deep thinker as well as a forward thinker. I appreciate her insights on where she believes the industry is heading. As someone just beginning to find my place in the publishing world, I find new ways to think through my own business goals and writing goals after each episode. She chooses some incredible people to interview, too. I always learn something new that I can use, even if an episode’s topic isn’t one I would search for or think would apply to my current season of life. Every time I face a mountain of laundry to fold, I go to The Creative Penn Podcast first!
2. MOM WRITES If you’re a parent who writes while children race through the house waging an imaginary battle against giant ogres, this is the podcast for you. Lock yourself in the closet with chocolate and alcohol and ear buds for full enjoyment! Abby Mathews and Melanie Parish have such a fun vibe as they interview writer moms and dads. Those episodes will have you yelling, “Me too!!” Plus, Jennie Nash—book coach extraordinaire and chief creative officer for Author Accelerator—teams up with them to discuss writing tips and so much more. Abby and Mel bravely let Jennie coach them through their own books on the podcast! So, as Jennie guides them through making their books all they can be, listeners benefit from hearing what a difference a book coach can make. One other little tidbit on Mom Writes—they interviewed ME! I had an amazing time chatting with them about writing and kids and everything in between that makes up my crazy life. Be on the lookout for that episode; but, in the meantime, you have a ton more to listen to for inspiration and support! And, check back in for next week’s post where I interview Abby and Mel!
3. LEVAR BURTON READS I grew up watching Reading Rainbow. My kids and I still watch it thanks to our library’s extensive selection. So, imagine my excitement when I saw the announcement about this podcast that started up a few months ago! It’s Reading Rainbow for adults! Listening to the expressive voice of LeVar Burton brings back great memories and makes short stories come alive. Plus, Abby (from Mom Writes) and I may have bonded a bit over our mutual joy (and tears) surrounding this podcast.
4. GRAMMAR GIRL QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS FOR BETTER WRITING How do I love Mignon Fogarty? Let me count the ways. She is my go-to gal for random grammar questions. She gives listeners detailed histories behind sayings and idioms. You will get a roundup of all the major style books from her, too, which I really appreciate. She concisely and clearly explains punctuation issues as well. And, to top it off, I adore her spunky style!
5. HELPING WRITERS BECOME AUTHORS K.M. Weiland is an absolute delight. She’s approachable, helpful, kind, honest and insightful. Her podcast is simply her reading her blog posts. I love this! First, she has great writing tips and breaks down common issues and mistakes writers face. Second, I love that I can listen to her posts when I don’t have time to sit down and read them; and I love that I can still “hear” her voice when I read her posts! And, third, her episodes are shorter than most writing podcasts—under 20 minutes—perfect for a busy mama who doesn’t get a lot of uninterrupted listening time. Be sure to head to her website for a ton of super helpful, high quality books and more—she even has several amazing books for FREE!
6. SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY MARKETING PODCAST Want helpful tips that can carry your written works to a profitable career for you? Look no further! Lindsay Buroker, Joseph Lallo and Jeffrey M. Poole share their best marketing tools and tricks in their episodes. They cover newsletters, campaigns, ads, book launches (and relaunches), multiple genres, pricing and so much more. What I love the most about this podcast—besides their fun attitudes … and Lindsay’s dogs who start to shake their collars when it’s time to wrap up—is the fact that they don’t always agree on the best marketing practices. What works for one may not work for another; so listeners enjoy a wide variety of options to try. Marketing, just like publishing, isn’t one-size-fits-all-writers these days!
7. MERRIAM-WEBSTER’S WORD OF THE DAY What can I say? I love words! So, these 3-minute introductions to a word, its definition or definitions, its history and its origin are perfect time fillers when you actually make it somewhere a few minutes early. Plus, you can share this with the kids! If you homeschool like we do, consider incorporating it in your daily routine!
8. THE WELL-STORIED PODCAST Kristen Kieffer‘s got it going on! She has a beautiful website full of amazing writing aids and inspiration and maintains a vibrant writing community on several social media outlets. She’s super helpful with great tips and ideas; not to mention, she’s incredibly supportive of other writers. Her podcast tackles tons of topics for writers from the woods—how to create a trilogy—to the trees—how to write strong opening lines. She fills her episodes with everything in between as well—the daily writing life, the publishing industry and so much more.
9. THE WRITER’S ALMANAC WITH GARRISON KEILLOR With his iconic voice, Garrison Keillor brings tidbits of “This Day in History” before reading a poem. These 5-minute episodes give me a little relaxation with literature in the middle of a busy day. I get to hear poems I wouldn’t otherwise read and find inspiration in them and in the bits of history he shares.
10. ST. TAMMANY PARISH LIBRARY PODCAST Does your library have a podcast? Mine does! I know I sound like a broken record; but, friends, I LOVE our library! I could go on and on about how great public libraries are, but I already have in this post and on social media as well. I just discovered ours has its own podcast, and I couldn’t be more excited! They share readings by and interviews with authors as well as lectures and other pieces of interest. Funny story—my kids made their podcast debut before their mom, thanks to our library! So, check out your local library and see if they have a podcast, too!
What about you?
I’ve shared my “top” 10 podcasts with you; now I want to hear your favorites! Share them with me in the comments or shoot me an email. Check back in next week when I interview writing/podcasting mamas Abby Mathews and Melanie Parish!