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  • Karina Sokulski

Podcast Recommendations: New Year, New Teachers

Maybe this is just me, but every year after NaNoWriMo I get a little burned out from typing 50k in one month. In those first two weeks of December, I pump out a bit more progress because there's that last little gust after November's second wind of writing before my brain begins to beg me for a break. Then the holidays come, and I take that much-needed break through the rest of December, all while scribbling a semblance of an outline in my journal because the writing never stops. Here we are though, days away from December 31st, the last day of the year of 2018 with an approaching 365 days that demand a writing schedule. Having to set goals for next year can quickly get overwhelming. I was never a spreadsheet kind of girl, and with a 9 am - 6 pm day job to work around, things get a little bit more difficult. The first step, or rather, my mandatory first step is to surround myself with writing. As a writer, it's exceedingly important writing is continuously on the brain, even when at work. My journal is my lunch mate during the work day, the book I'm currently reading is my journal's substitute when I can't get the words down during my lunch hour, and my driving mates are either my writing playlists or writing podcasts. My brain has constant exposure to little reminders that I need to write, more so with the new year. Have I been lazy about writing and listening to my uber-interesting podcasts through the second half of December? Yes, I'll admit it. Am I going to let myself stay that way? Nah, recovery's coming to its close, I'm ready to continue my writing now--but admittedly I think I need some help.

A good friend of mine ingeniously drew up a small list of writing podcasts she recommends to fellow writers. I was surprised when I realized that I was already subscribed to some while others I immediately added to my library as soon as I found them on iTunes. I say "ingeniously" because even if you are a podcast buff or not, sometimes a simple recommendation will go a long way. So in the spirit of this, I'm going to do the same and share all the writing podcasts I'm currently listening to.

1) Writing Excuses

This is my favorite writing podcast. I'm listening to it as I'm writing this blog post. This podcast's hosts: Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler, and Daniel Wells discuss writing techniques, offer incredibly helpful advice, explain how to work through all manner of writing slumps and they do it in 15-minute episodes. This podcast is a very commute-to-work friendly podcast. Did I mention each episode ends with writing prompts?

2) Write-minded

Here's a recently discovered writing podcast I've gotten into. The hosts of this podcast are Brooke Werner of She Writes and Grant Faulkner of National Novel Writing Month (Yup, an official NaNoEr). This is a podcast that delivers a weekly inspiration for writers by offering a blend of writing advice and informative discussions regarding the writing life itself. There's great information that comes from their guest speakers who are writers, authors, and folks from within the publishing industry.

3) I Should Be Writing

The title pretty much says it all about this podcast. Our host is Mur Lafferty who covers a wide range of writing advice, interviews authors, publishers, all you'd expect. What I particularly like about this podcast is when the hosts discuss writer's block, lack of confidence and other turbulence every writer experiences, some excellent advice comes from this show that I know I've had to hear once in a while.

4) The Sword and Laser

Here's an interesting podcast that isn't a writing podcast. Let me explain. My current novel that I'm working on is post-apocalyptic fantasy and horror, confidently so. I am, however, new to the genre of fantasy altogether. The Sword and Laser, hosted by Tom Merritt and Veronica Belmont, discuss what is the latest and greatest fantasy and sci-fi out there, what books are selling, what ideas have everyone's attention, author interviews, publishers too. Listening to this podcast is my way of taking a sip of the sci-fi fantasy juice and testing what my intended audience is looking for. There's some excellent advice for new sci-fi and fantasy authors like me who want to learn.

*Do note that all logos you see in this list are the property of the owners of the podcasts and are included for the convenience of locating the podcasts online.

There are several more podcasts in my library, but those currently fall under the category(s?) of "recently recommended" but "not yet started." I'll review them later, but for now, if you haven't yet introduced yourself to the writing podcast scene, these are great places to start.

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