Anybody who knows me personally knows I love podcasts. I subscribe to several, listen to them weekly, and I try to interact with the creators on Twitter as much as possible just to let them know I’m listening to their work. Kind of like how it’s a good idea to contact writers to let them know you’re reading their work.
There are several different kinds of podcasts, but I’m pretty partial to the storytelling pods that focus on the stranger aspects of life. Or true crime. I absolutely love True Crime Garage). Anything that tells a story in a cohesive (or moderately cohesive) manner and is interesting to me I’ll try out at least once. Some pods can be short and some are long and some are just a few episodes. You can find one for any mood you’re in that day.
Podcasts make learning and research interesting for me. I spend a lot of time doing research for various topics when I’m writing because what I know is very limited and I like to learn about and write about new things. Broaden my horizons. Get to know other historical events. It’s really fun. Podcasts introduce me to cryptids, historical events, legends, cold cases, murders, and neat people. I can sit and listen to one while I’m at work or while I’m at home piddling on Sims or cooking. I listen to podcasts with my loved ones when we travel. My sister falls asleep listening to them just about every night.
Podcasts can also be somewhat comforting. When you listen to certain ones long enough their voices become familiar and can also be used as a grounding tool for anxiety and depression. I found podcasts about a year ago when I started to want to know more about Mothman (I luv Mothman) and found Astonishing Legends. It was through Scott and Forrest I learned about my new favorite obsession, the Count of St. Germain. He’s become a pretty big part of my writing for the last year, as well as my research and book purchasing and conversations….
Anyway, it was through podcasts I realized how hard it was to tell stories as well as write them. It’s one thing to actually write the timeline and do the research and then write out the story, and it’s another one entirely when you’ve done all that already and now you’re in front of a microphone and you’re trying not to trip over your words and holy shit, I’ll have to edit at least five minutes of that ramble later, etc. It made me realize that when I write, I need to make sure the voice I use is consistent. Good podcasts have consistent voices. Good books have consistent voices. Good pods and books have well vetted research. Good pods and books work hard to promote themselves and connect with their audience. Good pods and books are full of love and compassion and endearment for the actual project. When it’s obvious that you love and enjoy what you do, your audience will love and enjoy the work.
And you can’t stop just because you’re tired or you’ve got writers block. If you’re putting out work once a week (like most pods do) then you’ve got to really make yourself sit down and work for it, even when you’re not feeling it. There are people dependent on what you do and make. There are people who use your work to calm themselves down or sleep or research or make conversation. There are people who use your work to connect to another human being, even if it’s just your words or your voice. And the same goes for writing and publishing. You can’t stop just because you’re not into it or it’s too hard.
So, if you’re already into podcasts, hopefully you read this and you feel what I’m saying. If you’re not into podcasts and want to be, I’m always down to talk about which ones I listen to. If you’re not into podcasts and don’t wish to be, that’s alright too. But I definitely recommend them as a means of research, at least.
Oh, and if you find I’m missing for various amounts of time it’s because I actually reached out to Astonishing Legends as a huge fan and asked to join the ARC and now I research for AL as a volunteer and I love it. It gives me the opportunity to research so many interesting topics and the guys are great and my fellow researchers are awesome and it’s just a great community. So, I highly recommend reaching out to your favorite podcasters, because they appreciate it.