Saturday, January 24, 2009

Writing resources: Podcasts

A wonderful resource for writers has emerged in the last few years: the audio podcast.

A podcast (for those of you living in caves to escape the zombie apocalypse) is a downloadable radio show you can listen to on an ipod or other mp3 player. Writing podcasts have interviews with authors, advice on technique and other topics that are talked about by the host or cast. They’re a good way to hear how other people do things and to learn about careers, ongoing projects and tricks used by your favorite authors.

The nice thing about a podcast (vs. a book, video or web-site) is that you can take it with you anywhere, and you can listen to it while doing other things. I listen to podcasts when I workout, when I drive, while shopping and when I’m doing busywork at the day job. This squeezes dead-space out of my day, allowing me to think about writing and learn during times that are otherwise wasted.

As far as content goes, you can find just about anything, from fiction markets (Escape Pod, Drabblecast), to author interviews (AISFP), to grammar (Grammar Girl), to insane rants by total egomainiacs(unlisted to protect the innocent).

My two favorites, are Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing and I Should be Writing. Both are well produced, interesting, informative and motivating.

Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing focuses on author and editor interviews with some commentary from the hosts. Shaun Farrell puts it together and it is cohosted by Sam Wynns. They have a good mix of big names and on-the-rise authors and some interesting interviews with editors.

I Should be Writing is a bit more personal, with the host, Mur Lafferty, focusing on her writing. She spices it up with author interviews and seems to be doing more interviews. She also spends a lot of time on listener feedback and questions, which is nice if have a question about something. It is also inspiring to listen to her progress as she started the show as a beginner and just last year had her first book come out.

There are dozens of writing podcasts to check out, but these two are the best I have found.