This week, listening to writing podcasts:
- Is an affordable way to develop craft
- Makes me part of a writing community
- Builds my enthusiasm for writing
Why podcasts are a great way to learn about writing
There are lots of reasons why podcasts are a great way to learn about writing.
1. They are free
You don’t need to pay money to go to a convention.
You don’t need to pay money to go on a writing course.
2. You hear a range of experts
You get to hear whichever author(s) or industry experts are hosting the show.
They have guest speakers on from all aspects of the industry, including authors, editors, agents, publishers and consumers (readers and bloggers).
Each one will give you a different opinion. This frustrates some people because there is no ‘right’ way to write but it’s often useful to hear that there are different methods, techniques and tricks. You can cherry-pick the ones that are right for you and build yourself a toolbox of skills to draw upon when you need them.
You can hear their struggles and be glad it’s not just you, that you can still finish your novel because this person did and they went through the same thing you’re going through now.
You can hear about their successes and be glad for them and feel hopeful that, one day, you’ll be successful in whatever way you want.
You can hone in on the episodes and experts you want to listen to at the time. For example, there are episodes about drafting, creating character and getting started which are useful when you’re beginning your new project, and episodes about editing, redrafting and submitting to agents which will be useful later on.
3. You can listen to them when you like
Like all podcasts, they are easy to download to your computer, laptop, tablet or mobile.
You can listen to them whenever and wherever you like. You don’t need to set aside a time specially for listening to them, like you would going to some kind of class.
You are in control of how long you listen for, whether you listen in one go or in sections.
4. It makes you part of a community
If you listen to one podcast over time, you get to know the host and the regular guests, and it makes you feel like you know another writer. As someone with very few writer-friends, this is invaluable.
You can join discussions and groups about the podcast and feel part of a small community, all joined together by their love of the podcast and of writing.
5. It counts as ‘work’ or ‘research’
If you’re having a bad writing day, you can listen to one, learn about writing, and think about an aspect of writing you perhaps haven’t thought of before.
If it makes you think about writing, you’re developing as a writer. Most authors agree that the best thing to do to get better at writing is to write. I would agree. However, just writing and writing and never stopping to actually assess what you’re producing won’t help you as much as you think.
At some point, you have to bring your inner editor to the party. Write, and think about what you’re writing. You can do this at any time, depending on your own writing preferences. Do it in the planning stage, as you write or wait until you’ve written your piece and evaluate it at the end – whatever works for you.
Listening to experts can save you from making some amateur mistakes.
Hearing people discuss one aspect of writing and digesting that advice will mean you gradually become a better writer because you have considered the elements that make up a great novel (or poem or short story, etc.)
6. It will inspire you to write
A lot of the time, listening to someone talk enthusiastically about an aspect of writing will inspire you to have a go, too.
If you were having a bad writing day, listening to someone talk about it might fire you with enthusiasm and you’ll have another crack at it.
You can hear about other, successful authors feeling the same way as you.
Find out what my three favourite writing podcasts are. You might guess a couple of them but will you guess all three?