Podcasts on Writing, Publishing, & More

There are so many excellent podcasts about writing and publishing out there, I wanted to post a list. Podcasts are another way to learn, to connect, to get inspired.  If you know of one, let me know and I can add it to my list here! (The descriptions are straight from iTunes.)

88 Cups of Tea – We release weekly interviews with awesome storytellers ranging from novelists to screenwriters to TV producers. Topics cover how-to’s, writing advice, craft tips for writers, career nuggets, and the highs and lows of being a storyteller. We are a safe space for listeners to absorb information and learn in a way that’ll shake up their creative routine. Our community welcomes each storyteller and writer and aims to make them feel less alone. 88 Cups of Tea on iTunes.

Hey YA – From great new books to favorite classic reads, from news to the latest in on-screen adaptations, Hey YA is here to elevate the exciting world of young adult lit. Hey YA on iTunes.

Literaticast – A literary agent and her friends dish about writing and publishing books for children and young adults. Literaticast on iTunes.

The Manuscript Academy – The Manuscript Academy brings you conversations with agents, editors, and writers who can help you on your publishing journey. The Manuscript Academy on iTunes.

Print Run Podcast – Print Run is a podcast created and hosted by Laura Zats and Erik Hane. Its aim is simple: to have the conversations surrounding the book and writing industries that too often are glossed over by conventional wisdom, institutional optimism, and false seriousness. We’re book people, and we want to examine the questions that lie at the heart of that life: why do books, specifically, matter? In a digital world, what cultural ground does book publishing still occupy? Print Run Podcast on iTunes.

PubCrawl – Authors & publishing pros blogging about all things reading, writing, books, and booze. Reading You Under The Table Since 2012. PubCrawl on iTunes.

Shipping & Handling – Join Bridget Smith of Dunham Literary Inc. and Jennifer Udden of Barry Goldblatt Literary LLC as we discuss books, publishing, writing, fandom, and more! Shipping & Handling on iTunes.

Write or Die – Often times in publishing we only hear about the quick sales and overnight successes – but for most of us, publishing is hard AF! So I’m sharing those stories – the real, gritty, pull your hair out because it’s been years – stories of writers who didn’t give up despite it all, and are now living out their dream. The perfect podcast for writers and creatives in need of inspiration, laughs and camaraderie! Hosted by author Claribel Ortega. Write or Die on iTunes.

Writing Excuses – Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler, and Daniel Wells discuss writing techniques in a fast-paced, 15-minute format. Writing Excuses on iTunes.

 

Writers. It’s okay to take a pause.

[Thanks for reading. Here’s a fun post filled with gifs and thoughts on taking a break.]

The writing journey is a winding trail of moments and emotions, both positive and negative. When the path encounters more moments of frustration and overwhelming emotion, it’s time to take a pause.

I’ve been known to submerge myself and ignore the real world during my writing  journey. I hide for hours, forgetting to eat a meal and/or skipping a shower. [Sorry not sorry if that’s TMI.]

At some unknown point, a trigger sneaks in and disrupts my unhealthy cycle. These triggers can include anything from a writing block, a disheartening critique, emotions on social media, crickets in queries, a form rejection, or someone calling you out on your lengthy isolation. Think of these triggers not as hurtful punishments, but as a sign of tough love to force you to become a better writer. The triggers encourage you to take that pause.

My pauses occur sporadically, mostly depending upon what’s going on inside my mind, my heart, and my life. Either way, a pause is a healthy and positive opportunity to step away and recharge.

The journey of writing and publishing can be rough and lonely. It has it’s ups and downs, somedays it will feel like there are more downs than ups. Other days, it will feel like you’re on an island.

Remain aware of the triggers before they wreck you. Console yourself with some trustworthy writer friends who will lift you up. Thank you to who have been there for me. I am here for you when you need it.

When you run into a wall, maybe it’s time for a break.

Personally, I’ve found it to be a challenge to take a pause. Why? Obviously, I don’t want to miss out on anything. I usually end up taking short one or two day breaks, then dive right back in.

Writing is a job and a passion. I don’t care what anyone tells you. Writing and publishing a story takes commitment, teamwork, and hard work, complete with blood, sweat, and tears. But the good news is you’re not alone. This journey involves writer pals, critique partners, mentors, mentees, agents, editors, publishers, interns, furry friends, and family.

We spend countless hours in our craft. We pour over our words and scrutinize every detail, every plot point, every crutch word, every character name, every comma, every dialogue tag, every everything!

At the same time, when you’re a writer, you’re enrolled in never-ending continuing education courses – whether you know it or not. Take a pause to think about all you have learned in your writing journey so far.

Wow! Right? So, where have you learned it from?

You’re constantly absorbing information to improve yourself. Here’s a short list of that information: writing, world building, character profiles, story plotting, editing, critiquing, querying, pitching in various ways, deep edits, professionalism, social media tools, networking, engagement, and the list goes on and on.

You’ve probably taken a lot of these ‘courses’ in all different formats from social media threads and blog posts to resource books and in-person workshops. Let’s not forget book festivals, signings, conventions, vloggers, online research tools, webinars, and writers’ groups. Yes, folks. No matter where you are in the journey of writing, we learn FROM EACH OTHER!

You’ve absorbed quite a lot and there’s more to come. Are you tired? Stressed? Worried? Hungry? Stinky? Frustrated? Panicked?

No matter where you are in your writing journey, you deserve a pause.

If you’re feeling the emotions, you must take a pause. 

You earned yourself time to read a book from your massive TBR pile, sip some beverage of choice, and/or write a review for a fellow author. Maybe you’ve been burning to do some blog posts about what you’ve learned in your journey. It’s time to give back. You may even wish to binge something on tv. Do it. Have you been outside? Considered going to a community event or taking a stroll. Maybe the local library, indie bookstore, or a quaint coffee shop?

Think of something new and different. Seek inspiration, encouragement, and comfort. Make it something that will give you meaningful pause.

For me, I read something new, spend time with my family, disappear into thrift stores, or paint on old windows.

After your pause, come back refreshed and ready to conquer your next thing!

What do you do? How long are your pauses? Add a comment below. I’d love to hear about it.

My Manuscript is a Victim of Distraction

I’ve been working on my manuscript for two years and am currently in my third or 10th draft of revisions. I honestly have lost track. Writing is a tough process, but getting published is way more challenging and painfully heartbreaking. But I haven’t even gotten published yet.

When you come to a stopping point in your writing, you typically take a break to see what everyone else is doing. There are zillions of distractions and temptations, especially on social media.

Every few days, I am tempted to research lit agents or participate in a Twitter pitch contest or something related. However, each of these distractions take me away from my main purpose and goal: To have a complete and polished manuscript.

Temptations come in all different forms to distract you from your writing/revising focus. If they offered free donuts and coffee, I would be screwed. Here are some typical questions that may come to your mind when you are feeling tempted:

  • Am I ready to query?
  • Is my MS good enough?
  • Am I missing my big break?
  • Does anyone care about my story?
  • What if I just try it now and see what happens?
  • What have I got to lose?

Stop! Be HONEST with yourself. Are you really ready? Sometimes, you have to pull your head out of the clouds and ask yourself the tough questions. Combat those questions with ways to continue working on your MS:

  • What is your story goal?
  • What does my main character want? What does my main character need?
  • Why is my character reacting like that? What fuels him/her? What is their motivation?
  • What is my word count?
  • Do I have a plot? Is there tension, conflict?
  • Who is the antagonist?
  • Do my characters have bios?
  • Have I checked for overused/unnecessary words? Should I check for crutch words?
  • What does my CP think? Do I even have a CP?
  • Have I received all feedback from my beta readers? (Tip: make sure you have objective beta readers, not just friends who will tell you what you hope to hear.)

During my process, which is always going to be a process, I found some great resources to link to:

Writer’s Digest

Better Novel Project

Helping Writers Become Authors by K.M. Weiland

If you know of any other resources, which there are tons, please let me know!

However, for all those seeking temptation and information, here are a few Twitter Pitch Contests/Resources to know about for your future (in no particular order):

PitchWars

PitchMas

PitchSlam

PitMad

Pit2Pub

MSWL

…and there are SO MANY MORE…check out Carissa Taylor’s Blog for a massive list. Pitch Contest Calendar.