Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Writing Podcasts for Inspiration

Writers can find inspiration almost anywhere--an idea while showering, overheard snippets of a conversation in a restaurant, newspaper articles and even other stories. But sometimes it’s helpful to get inspiration from other writers discussing the actual process of creation. I enjoy listening to writers talk about their writing process. Doing so has gotten me out of a funk more than a couple of times.

Here are some podcasts you can listen to that offer practical advice and inspiration when you want to hear about how other writers tackle their problems and projects. 

Writing Excuses: The tagline is “Fifteen minutes long, because you’re in a hurry, and we’re not that smart.” They actually are that smart, however, and they are all very successful. The podcast consists of some pretty heavy hitters that I think are well worth listening to. Brandon Sanderson recently finished Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, for instance. The other hosts are Howard Tayler, Dan Wells, and the most recent addition, Mary Robinette Kowal. You probably either recognize some of those names, or you avoid genre fiction completely. They tackle a specific writing issue each week and are simply fun to listen to. 

The Dead Robots’ Society: The current line-up is Justin Macumber, Terry Mixon and Paul E. Cooley. One of the biggest benefits of this podcast, in my opinion, is that each host comes at writing and publishing in a different way. Justin has contracts with a couple of small presses for his novels Haywire and A Minor Magic. Terry successfully self-publishes erotic romances and erotica under a couple of different names. Paul self-publishes horror, fantasy and some genre-bending stuff, and has also written for Scott Sigler's shared universe. The different approaches make for interesting conversation. They also sometimes interview other authors, which adds to the eclectic mix. This podcast appears weekly and does sometimes contain adult language, so use the headphones at work or when kids are around! 

The Reading and Writing and Podcast: Though there's a definite shortage of women writers interviewed and his style is a bit brusque at times (as if he's simply moving on to the next question without much thought to what the writer just said), he often lets the writers talk at length, which I appreciate. The podcast appears irregularly, and I usually only listen to the ones that write in my genres, but I enjoy hearing writers talk about how they came to write their stories as well as how they got them published. 

Michael Stackpole’s The Secrets: This is actually a very old podcast that ended several years ago. But I think the information is valuable enough to include it here, especially for beginning writers. Some of it’s pretty basic, but sometimes hearing a pro reiterate those basics is just the thing, don’t you think? Pay special attention to the "special episodes" at the bottom, as those are the ones I've enjoyed the most. I think I still have some of the retired episodes, so if anyone wants those please contact me--or check iTunes where they might still be available. Michael Stackpole is probably most well-known for the best-selling I, Jedi, but he's still busy with both contracted work and self-published fiction.

There are other writing podcasts available, but I opted to choose my favorites among those I think are the most valuable and the most consistent, and left off any that require payment for any of the content. If you regularly follow a writing podcast that you enjoy, please mention it in a comment.


  1. Thanks for the links, Shelley!

  2. Thanks for this helpful info. It's always interesting to learn about other writers' journeys.

    Thanks for visiting, Milo.
    Cheers and happy Friday.

  3. Shelley, these links are great. I had no idea there were so many writing podcasts out there. I'm definitely going to try the 15 minute one.