Five Inspiring Podcasts for Writers

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I was going to save this post for January, when most of us start doing our vision casting for the new year. But I’m finding this transition into the fall season to be a difficult one. For one, I just got back from an awesome, early-20th-anniversary trip to London, and reentry has been…let’s say, challenging. For another, Denver seems to have skipped right over autumn and gone straight to winter, which makes me want to do no more than curl up in front of my fireplace, read books, and drink tea. Considering I have numerous deadlines looming, that’s not the best impulse!

So in the spirit of getting my head back in the game, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite inspirational podcasts for the next time you too are tempted to play hooky rather than continue writing the Great American Novel.

The Portfolio Life

This podcast by Jeff Goins (The Art of Work, Real Artists Don’t Starve) is designed to help you “pursue work that matters, make a difference with your art and discover your true voice,” through inspiring conversations with interesting, successful people, all from a Christian worldview.  Whenever I need a little business-attitude-adjustment, this is my first stop. Goins strikes a nice balance between inspiration and practical advice that always helps me redouble my dedication to making a living through art.

Episode to Try: The Fun Formula: Why Doing What’s Fun Brings Success with Joel Comm

The Tim Ferris Show

Fair warning, Tim Ferris can be insensitive and even profane at times, but he’s a gifted interviewer whose natural curiosity about the world pulls the best out of his interviewees. Past guests include billionaire entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, comedian Aisha Tyler, and chef Eric Ripert. You’ll want to be selective on the podcasts and pick only the topics that interest you–I have no interest in psychedelics or the inner lives of sex workers, for example–but its an invaluable look into what has made successful people successful, not to mention a great research tool into professions you might otherwise have difficulty getting a peek into.

Episode to Try: #100: Brené Brown on Vulnerability and Home Run TED Talks

Oprah’s Master Class

There’s not a lot of Oprah in Oprah’s Master Class, which depending on how you feel about the legendary host might be a positive or a negative–this is an audio of the on-screen episode, for which Oprah only comes in to do the voice over. Nonetheless, her guests span the gamut of arts, sciences, and politics, guaranteeing you’ll find interesting content and inspiring stories.

Episode to Try: Justin Timberlake (2018)

Mark Dawson’s Self-Publishing Formula

This podcast is another one whose quality varies depending on the guest–some are great, and others are painful. But Mark Dawson is one of the most influential voices in the independent publishing community, and there’s always something to learn in these episodes…even if it’s only that making a good living from publishing is possible.

Episode to Try: SPF-134: A Successful Author Mindset with Adam Croft

Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert

I don’t always agree with Elizabeth Gilbert’s stance on life-choices (I happen to be one of the people who hated Eat Pray Love and found it anything but inspiring) but I thought that her book Big Magic was brilliant. While I find Gilbert’s spirituality pretty general, her take on human creativity illuminates parts of God’s big picture that I rarely get from other writers. That’s why I’m glad there’s finally a second season of the Magic Lessons Podcast, in which Elizabeth and her famous friends help a different person through a difficult part of her creative life. It’s been a while since I’ve gone through season one, so the specifics elude me, but anyone who is finding themself stagnant and searching will probably pull out some nuggets of wisdom to get themselves on track.

Episode to Try: 101: Do What Ignites Your Soul

Do you have any favorites I should add to my list? Tell me below!

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  1. Crystal J Sandow says:

    I love love love:
    Every single time, I am fed spiritually, encouraged emotionally, and challenged mentally.

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