5 Writing Podcasts to Help Boost Your Creativity This Summer by Savannah Cordova
As seasons go, summer is probably the most difficult time to be a writer. While your friends are gathering at the beach and the bars, enjoying those hot August nights, you’re inside writing. It doesn’t help that the more fun you miss out on, the more you might start to resent your work — or forget why you’re doing it in the first place.
But writing should never feel like a chore, especially in summer! On the contrary, this season is the perfect time to hone your process and tap into your creativity like never before. That way, when autumn arrives — along with big events like NaNoWriMo, the Writer’s Digest annual short fiction contest, and many more — you can proceed with confidence and enthusiasm.
Five Wonderful Writing Podcasts
To help you in this intrepid endeavor, I’ve collected five wonderful writing podcasts that excel at creative inspiration. Each one provides a unique perspective on the craft, plus tried-and-true advice from writers just like you. Give them a listen when you get the chance — hopefully when taking a much-deserved break in the sunshine.
1. Write Now with Sarah Werner
Sarah Werner is a woman of many talents. Not only does she host a weekly podcast on the subject of the work/life/writing balance, she also conceived, wrote, and narrated an elaborate War of the Worlds-esque sci-fi audio drama entitled Girl in Space. So you can trust that her tips come from the “writer’s mouth” — she knows exactly what it takes to buckle down and work on a project, while ensuring you don’t lose the magic that inspired it in the first place.
Write Now distinguishes itself from other writing podcasts by focusing just as much as the “work” and “life” bits of the aforementioned balance as it does on writing. This, as any seasoned writer will know, is the only path to sustainable success: your life can’t be 100% writing, or else you’ll burn out in a week. Werner goes into detail about how to make this possible, while being honest about how she’s still learning all the time.
Write Now also offers up helpful case studies and conversations with other writers about their processes, emphasizing that no matter what your writing life looks like at the moment, you can find the balance that’s right for you.
2. Beautiful Writers with Linda Sivertsen
Speaking of conversations with other writers, Sivertsen’s podcast is perhaps the most high-profile in the game.
Beautiful Writers has featured the likes of Elizabeth Gilbert, Arianna Huffington, and even Tom Hanks in its 50-episode run. But what’s great about this podcast isn’t the rotating celebrity cast; it’s the realization that stars really are just like us.
They struggle with motivation, sticking to a routine, brainstorming ideas, and more — and their reflections on these obstacles and how to overcome them are just as insightful and relatable as they’d be from any “normal” writer.
Each episode of Beautiful Writers entails an in-depth conversation with the guest of honor, during which they discuss their writing habits, their sources of inspiration, their quirks, and all other writing-related fun facts. (For instance, did you know that Tom Hanks has a collection of over 250 typewriters?)
Yes, Beautiful Writers undoubtedly supplies some very interesting info, but it’ll also compel you to start writing ASAP — because if these guys can make space in their hectic schedules to write a book, then surely you can find time to do the same.
3. The Secret Library Podcast with Caroline Donahue
One of the most down-to-earth writing podcasts out there, The Secret Library Podcast tells it like it is.
Veteran writer and podcast host Caroline Donahue dives right into each interview, skillfully extracting the answers we all really want to know to questions like: what should you aim for with a first draft? How do you know when to plan vs. improvise? Which details should you use to really captivate readers? And, of course: how can you get your writing done at a reasonable pace, while still enjoying it?
The fascinating tidbits from Donahue’s guests (including bestselling authors like Jojo Moyes, Diana Gabaldon, and Meg Wolitzer) shed a bright, not-always-flattering light on every aspect of the craft.
Indeed, the essential thesis of Secret Library is: “Even if you’ve been doing it forever, writing is still hard work.” However, it’s clear from these writers’ energy and passion that they derive great satisfaction from this revolutionary act, and their own strategies for maximizing their creativity will certainly improve your own.
4. DIY MFA Radio with Gabriela Pereira
From another highly experienced writer and podcaster comes DIY MFA Radio, the podcast accompaniment to the impeccably dubbed DIY MFA.
Like its parent site, DIY MFA Radio gives easy-to-action advice for aspiring writers who want to avoid the rigmarole of an academic MFA. And in its five-year stretch, it’s boasted some pretty incredible guests, whom Pereira hosts as part of her MFA-style “speaker series.”
But what makes this podcast unique is Pereira herself, who strikes the perfect balance of authority and accessibility in her presentation. You’ll never feel intimidated listening to her, as you might in a writing workshop or MFA classroom; whether she’s interviewing a literary legend or talking about her own experience, Pereira’s style is consistently engaging and encouraging to writers of all stripes (and that includes you!).
5. The Writers Panel with Ben Blacker
Finally, we have The Writers Panel, a podcast that revolves around writing for the screen rather than the page.
While it may seem tangential for non-TV writers, it’s actually a great way to get out of your typical writing mindset and approach screen-relevant issues (like dialogue) in a fresh and effective way.
Hosted by writer and producer Ben Blacker, The Writers Panel has had tons of A-list guests (such as Amy Sherman-Palladino and Jordan Peele) on to dissect the complex world of TV writing, revealing everything you’ve ever wanted to know about your favorite shows. And who knows — after listening to this one, you may even want to convert your manuscript into a TV script!
Ignite Your Creativity Through Writing Podcasts
As you’ve probably gathered, there’s no wrong solution to the writer’s dilemma.
Whether you ignite your creativity through writing podcasts, blog posts, or any other form of inspiration, the important thing is to take what works for you and run with it.
On that note, best of luck in your quest — and enjoy the rest of your summer!
Editor’s Note: Here’s a few more podcasts from the community. Contact me with your favs to add to the list.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Savannah Cordova is a writer with Reedsy, a platform that connects authors and publishers with the world’s best editors, designers, and marketers. She’s very interested in the evolution of the podcast industry. In her spare time, Savannah enjoys reading fiction, writing short stories, and of course, listening to podcasts.