Hey, everybody. Kaleiyah-P here with another Writing Wednesday post. It’ll be short, though. Not a long one on the particulars of craft, but a post that I hope you’ll find helpful.
If you’re a beginning writer looking to improve, an intermediate writer looking to bust out of your shell, or an advanced writer looking to keep sharp, the Writing Excuses podcast is the podcast you should be listening to. While their tagline is “Fifteen minutes long, because you’re in a hurry, and we’re not that smart,” trust me.
Don’t be in a hurry; they’re smart. You’re going to want to hear what they have to say.
Writing Excuses is a weekly podcast led by a rotation of eight different hosts and sometimes guest writers, talking about any and every aspect of the craft of fiction (and sometimes poetry, though mostly in relation to fiction). And while the podcasts technically go over fifteen minutes at times, they’re bite-sized enough to get really solid, practical advice. They even provide homework at the end for you to practice the aspect that they’re talking about each week.
To put it another way, I have a Bachelors in English and a Creative Writing emphasis in fiction. And listening to the folks on Writing Excuses makes me wish I could go back to school and talk with fellow writers about these aspects in the same manner that the hosts talks about them: seriously, deeply, wittily, and clearly. I mean, I would like to go back to school and get an MFA, but that’s not the point. My point is that these people take writing seriously, and so should you. The credentials of the host range from Nebula- and Hugo- award-finalist to film actors. They’ve been in the industries you’re thinking about or want to be in.
I’ve only started listening to the podcast since the beginning of the twelfth season, and I’m loving it so far. I’d like to listen to the other seasons at some point, as I’m sure they are just as good.
But after listening to them for about a month, I’d say they’re a keeper.
The Portfolio Life
If you’re not as pressed on time and have forty minutes to an hour to spare, I highly recommend Jeff Goins’ The Portfolio Life.
Who is Jeff Goins, you ask? Here. I’ll let him tell you. Come back to me when you’re done reading, kay?
Done? Good 😉
What’s The Portfolio Life, then? Each Thursday, Goins conducts an interview-style podcast with “creative people from all fields in hopes of answering one important question: What does the creative life actually look like?” It’s a rhetorical question, as the question can have many different answers, but the point, as Goins states in the podcast intro, is to figure out what kind of “portfolio life” you want to lead. Whether you want to be the kind of author that has speaking gigs or an author that sells a thousand copies in the first week of your book’s launch, that’s up to you.
And what I enjoy about The Portfolio Life is that Goins means it when he brings on creative people from “all fields.” I’ve been inspired not only by some of the writers he brings on each week, but also cartoonists, a health guru, and musicians.
And I’ve been inspired by every single one of them.
Part of the reason why, I think, the creative life is so hard to envision is because it’s not out there for everyone to see. And the images that are out there represent the extremes: the Stephen Kings and J. K. Rowling success stories at the one end, the starving/alcoholic/afflicted artist sad stories at the other. We don’t hear about the ones who use their day jobs to propel them forward. We don’t hear about authors hitting the New York Times Bestseller list, but treat their book advance as an investment rather than an income.
The Portfolio Life reminds me and its many other listeners that there is no one-size-fits-all; there doesn’t have to be only two polar extremes in the creative world; and that there many creative people out there who are making a living and doing fine.
Exposure is everything. Exposure is hope. And now more than ever, creative people need hope to keep them working on their creative portfolios.
And The Portfolio Life does that.
I’m afraid that’s it from me! I listen to those two podcasts at the moment, but I would like to listen to more at some point. I find listening to something on a podcast gives my eyes a break sometimes.
What about you? Do you know of any other writing-related podcasts you like? Feel free to post them in the comments.
Hope you’ll check out both Writing Excuses and The Portfolio Life soon!
And as always, see you next post!