A few months ago I took to listening to podcasts. This was a combination of having a new internship where I had to commute 3 hours every day and also sitting at that internship staring at a computer screen trying to figure out what to do with the downtime I suddenly found myself with.
I never really liked podcasts. It was hard for me to sit down and just listen to someone else talk in my ear. Which is weird, because a few years prior I had taken to listening to audiobooks and even snuck watched tv shows at my desk at my old job where I would just listen to Veronica Mars solve cases.
But, for some reason, I just never could sit down and listen to a podcast. Then, I heard Serial. Serial is a podcast written by and hosted by Sarah Koenig, where she researches famous cases that aren't all what they seem.
I could not stop listening to the first season, it was like an itch you just had to scratch. In fact there were times at my internship where I just stared blankly at my screen not doing anything at all because I was so wrapped up in the drama and the deceit that was funneling into my ears. One of my coworkers actually had to ask me if I was okay because he thought I hadn't blinked.
I haven't finished season 2 yet because it is a case I actually do know about, and I know the outcome. Which makes it a dose less fun.
Slowly, I began to think of podcasts as another source for stories that I hadn't before, and I started to research what kind of podcasts where out there for writers.
I already knew about Dear Hank and John, and I had listened to it from time to time. Now, it is usually what I listen to on my daily walk to work in the morning.
However, in the past week I have listened to two podcasts that really just helped me sit the fuck down and write. (And, as you will notice in the 20 weeks to follow, I really, really like John Green.)
In "The Antropocene Reviewed" John Green reviews two thing of the current culture that reflect on his life. The first two are Canadian (or if you prefer Canada) Geese and Diet Dr. Pepper. I started listening to it because its John Green, but let me tell you, this podcast is phenomenal. I would listen to it whether or not it was John Green, because its just deeply fascinating not only to learn about the history of things you never thought had a history, but to also learn about things that may seem mundane in your own life, but are important to other people's lives. As always, John Green uses expertly crafted prose and his own charmed candor to create this delightful podcast.
"The Writer's Panel" is just what it sounds like, hosted and moderated by Ben Blacker. This podcast interviews authors you have and have not heard of and asks them questions about their writing, their life, and how those things intertwine. This episode, hopefully unsurprisingly at this point, interviewed John Green, however it wasn't done in a studio, instead in front of a live audience. I've been lucky enough to see John Green live film a podcast, and it was hilarious, and really cool to be there in person and then listen to that podcast later to see what was cut and what was left in. In this podcast, John talks about his writing process and also about how he became a writer. I knew a lot of what he talked about, but nonetheless, hearing a writer who you admire talk about how hard and nihilistic it is to be a writer makes the act of doing it less haunting. And, that is something we probably all need.
Hopefully these help you write, or at least encourage you to try listening to some podcasts and see if they work for you.
And trust me, there's one for everyone.