By Catherine Russell – FFDO Correspondent
Making time for self-improvement while writing, reading, and meeting all of life’s other obligations is a problem faced by aspiring authors everywhere. Downloading podcasts is one of the easiest and (usually) free ways to claim time for education.
A podcast is a downloadable audio program that you can listen to on a device (either computer or mp3 player) at your own leisure. You can listen to content on virtually any subject you like, usually without cost, whenever it is convenient. It is an easy way to snatch some extra story or nonfiction time when you are otherwise engaged doing dishes or driving to work.
Podcasts can be downloaded manually from your computer, but a much easier way is to simply use a podcatcher. If you use your phone as an mp3 player and you have internet connectivity, you can download a podcatcher application. If not, you can also search and download one onto your computer. My personal favorite is DoggCatcher on my Android phone, available through the Android Market. Another method would be to use Google Reader on your computer, open up the audio in another tab, and listen while browsing the web or doing other things.
In the interest of reclaiming time that would otherwise go down the drain with the dirty dishwater or out the window while driving, here are a few suggestions for aspiring authors and other bibliophiles.
I Should Be Writing by Mur Lafferty (@mightymur) – started out as a podcast for wannabe fiction writers. Now that she had published with a traditional publisher as well as self-published several podiobooks and ebooks, she continues to share her journey, commiserating with her listeners, cheering their triumphs, dispensing advice, and interviewing authors.
Grammar Girl by Mignon Fogarty – a podcast of quick and dirty tips for the grammatically challenged, or just those who would like to brush up on their punctuation skills. Not only is the show informative, it is entertaining as well.
Functional Nerds with Patrick Hester (@atfmb) and John Anealio (@JohnAnealio) – not specifically a writing podcast, but one that features interviews with many genre authors for those looking to stay current on new and upcoming books and authors.
Writing Excuses features four professional writers discussing the craft of writing. The podcast begins with the declaration, “Fifteen minutes long because you’re in a hurry and we’re not that smart.” While the format is short, the podcast hosts most definitely give intelligent and thoughtful advice.
So, if you have not tried these podcasts before, I urge you – in the interest of both education and entertainment – to reclaim some of your driving time by giving them a chance.
Author Catherine Russell shares her life with her high school sweetheart, their son, and two ferocious puppies in the Wilds of Ohio while writing short stories, editing her novel, and learning more about the craft every day. Her work has been published in Flash Me magazine, Metro Fiction, Beyond Centauri, and the ‘Best of Friday Flash – Volume One’ anthology. More of her writing can be found on her writing blog at ganymeder.com.