If you’re like me, or any other writer on the planet, you face the dreaded block from time to time. Those endless, wordless voids lost somewhere between knowing what you want to say and just too many words to choose from. Let these podcasts inspire and set you free. From a simple distraction, to useful information from some of the best writers around the country, you’ll find these top picks to be free, useful and just the right dose of inspiration.
With a mission to “preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world,” StoryCorps not only teaches the value of listening but is generating a collection of life stories for future humanity. Its StoryBooths allow everyday people to explore their closest relationships -- a granddaughter and her grandfather; an alcoholic husband who suffers from PTSD and his wife; an 8-year-old daughter and her once-imprisoned mother.
This weekly radio program is produced and hosted by authors Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, Marrie Stone and Nicole Nelson and airs each Wednesday at 9 a.m. PST. Welcoming writers, poets and literary agents, the podcast has included The Descendants author Kaui Hart Hemmings, environmental journalist Judith D. Schwartz, and a poetry panel with Kim Dower, Dean Rader and Tess Taylor. Those listening in will hear about the benefits of a good poem, the personal accounts of a writer’s life, and how relationships and intersections between characters can create a powerful plot.
Interested in the writer behind your favorite books? Georgina Godwin shares an in-depth discussion each Saturday with the author behind the words. Hear Godwin discuss feminism and getting old with Fear of Flying author Erica Jong, and faith, death, storytelling and allegorical animals with Life of Pi’s Yann Martell.
We all need a little push, sometimes, but if you’re looking to take your writing to the next level, you need to listen to this podcast. Creative Pep Talk is creativity in a nice little tip jar, designed for creators who want to make a good living with their talents. Recent episodes have included tips on unearthing your creative path, breaking through anxiety, and how you may be holding yourself back.
Sometimes all you need is a good distraction -- and maybe a good dose of the goosies. These campfire-style stories, released every other Monday, examine the dark tales of history. I recently listened to Episode 10: “Steam & Gas.” Ever visit an old hotel and wonder what the walls would say if they could talk? Are you sure you really want to know? Writer, host and producer Aaron Mahnke has an incredible talent. From his darkened pauses, to his eerie choice of background sounds, he does an amazing job bringing to life these true events that have fueled modern-day superstitions.