Podcasts are a great way to multi-task – getting advice on writing from shows like Writing Excuses, listening to the musings of comedians like Bill Burr or getting hooked on true crime stories like the brilliant Serial. I’ve been listening to podcasts for several years and as of last December, I’ve even begun to produce my own show, Joined Up Writing, with fellow writer, Leah Osbourne.
Many people don’t think they have time to listen to podcasts, but the great thing about them is that you can have them on your phone or iPod and listen to them anytime – on the daily commute, in the car, during your lunch break. It’s a great way to multi-task and there are literally thousands of shows on every topic you can think of. Personal finance, news, creativity, music, science, comedy, DIY – you name it, it’s been done.
You can listen to them online, but the most convenient method is to subscribe on iTunes and have your favourite shows automatically appear on your phone or iPod every time a new episode is released. And did I mention that they’re free?
They can also be really interactive – most podcasters love to reach out to their audience, to hear their ideas and include their thoughts on their shows. You can even help to shape content and future shows – not something you can usually do with national TV and Radio networks.
I listen to loads of great shows, but hear are just a few of my current favourites.
Writing Excuses – a great quick-hit of regular writing advice and tips – 15 minutes long, because you’re in a hurry, and we’re not that smart!
Narrative Breakdown – Often focuses on different forms of writing, particularly script writing for film and TV.
Dead Robot Society – quite long episodes, but lots of interesting free-ranging conversation between three genre writers.
COMEDY, ENTERTAINMENT OR INTERVIEW PODCASTS
Bill Burr’s Monday Morning Podcast – very US-centric and lots of sports talk, but don’t be put off. Bill is hilarious and has lots to say about relationships, modern life and the environment.
By The Way with Jeff Garlin – Funny and insightful interviews with writers, actors and musicians, recorded in front of a live audience with Curb Your Enthusiasm funny man, Jeff Garlin.
Here’s The Thing with Alec Baldwin – more interviews from host Alec Baldwin. Look out for Billy Joel show and John McEnroe.
Serial – feels like I’m jumping on the bandwagon a little by mentioning this one, but have a feeling most UK readers won’t have even heard of this. It was a massive hit in the US. Brilliantly produced serialised show that covered a true crime story and possible miscarriage of justice. Fascinating stuff and you’ll need to listen from episode 1.