In an age where screens seem to have outnumbered people in the Western world, tired eyes are a common affliction. I crave ways to mix up my day with activities that will give my eyes a rest. And in an age where “sitting is the new smoking,” it’s also nice to find activities that allow mobility. Enter the podcast. It’s like radio, only better, because it’s on-demand entertainment. You can pick and choose which shows you listen to and when—while on a jog, running errands, washing dishes. And there are lots of great podcasts for writers who want to step away from the computer screen and readers who want to be on the move.
Because Girl Friday is a group of word-loving and podcast-loving professionals, we decided to launch our own podcast to give listeners access to behind-the-scenes stories about everything from gender bias to the inner workings of the prison system to writing and parenting. We’ve spent the last year collecting interviews from a wide variety of notable writers and putting their stories together into a podcast we’ll be launching by the end of spring.
Until then, here’s a list of some of my favorite reading and writing podcasts:
Hosted by the ever-charming Mignon Fogarty, the Grammar Girl podcast is for word nerds who want to polish a piece of writing or freshen up on their split infinitives. These tips are quick and dirty and delightful.
Recommended episode: “Top Ten Grammar Myths” (http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/top-ten-grammar-myths)
Selected is an apt word to include in the title of this beloved podcast due to its well-curated selection of short stories written by well-known authors and little-known writers and read by theater and screen actors.
Recommended episode: “Parental Expectations” (http://www.selectedshorts.org/2012/06/parental-expectations/)
Each week, a Longform host interviews nonfiction writers about their craft, how they got started, and what their careers have been like.
Recommended episode: “Ta-Nehisi Coates” (http://longform.org/posts/longform-podcast-168-ta-nehisi-coates)
These quick writing tips from four writers are a great way to get that extra motivation to stop making excuses and start writing.
Recommended episode: “The Element of Adventure” (http://www.writingexcuses.com/2016/04/03/11-14-the-element-of-adventure/)
Hosted by Eat Pray Love author Elizabeth Gilbert, this podcast is for creatives who need the soothing, encouraging voice of Gilbert directly in their earbuds telling them, “Make time to do what you love.” She interviews writers and artists about the roadblocks they’re facing in pursuing their craft, and how to dismantle those obstacles.
Recommended episode: “Brene Brown on ‘Big Strong Magic’” (https://soundcloud.com/riverheadbooks/ep-12-big-strong-magic)
I Should Be Writing
Hosted by author Mur Lafferty, this podcast encourages writers to believe in themselves through interviews with authors who have new books out.
Recommended episode: “Crippling Fear” (http://murverse.com/isbw-355-crippling-fear/)