I've mentioned, more than once, that I love to listen to writers talk about writing. In 2016 I discovered podcasts, (yes, I know, late to that party...). Before then it was just an icon on my phone that I had ignored. But once I discovered them - well, I had a lot of catching up to do.
There were two particular discussions, on two different podcasts, that really motivated me to try writing, and the timing was perfect - because Harper would arrived in my head a couple of days later.
The first one was with a woman who, sadly, I can't remember her name, but I remember something she said - if you get to a certain age and think, 'I really want to do that', then do it: do it before you get to an age when it's too late. I was at a certain age and I really wanted to write something.
The second conversation was at a Writers' Festival and the writer on stage was Liane Moriarty. I will be forever grateful for her explanation of her writing process. It was the first time I had heard a writer say that she started with an idea, and didn't plan, just wrote. That was a revelation to me and again, perfect timing, because Harper started about a month later - just a name and an idea and not plan.
Podcasts have given me so much - the inspiration to try writing, tips to begin, how publishing works, handling rejection... what continues to amaze me is how open and generous writers are about their craft.
I listen widely. I listen to crime writers, non-fiction writers, poetry writers, long interviews, festival interviews, panel discussions, Australian writers, international writers, well known and emerging writers, agents, publishers...
In each one there is something to learn, to reflect on and more often than not, a tip to help me improve my writing and, importantly, how the publishing process works.
There are other types of podcasts I listen to as well - generally any conversation when people are talking about human behaviour, life challenges, personal experiences. More often than not, these are with people that I have never heard of, that aren't celebrities or in the news. To listen to someone explain the impact of an unexpected event that turned their life upside down and how they overcame that - well, I find it inspirational as well as giving me insight into an array of emotions and responses.
Every now and then I hear something that I jot down in my notebook, a perspective that may come out in a character at some stage or a point of view that hadn't crossed my mind. I suppose it's like eavesdropping but with permission.
I've also found that I do have time in my day to listen to podcasts - walking the dog, preparing dinner, watering the garden, ironing... basically anytime that I am just going through the day-to-day chores around the house. Recently - and I am still on the fence about if I should do this - when I walk into the supermarket, sanitise my hands, put on my face mask and I then pop in my earbuds. Of course I stop when I get to the deli, and at the checkout, but the rest of the time - well.
There are so many podcast out there for you to listen to. During the past year I've listened to Words and Nerds, So You Want To Be A Writer (absolutely), Middle Grade Mavens, Writer Files, Sydney Writers Festival, The Moth, Conversations... more than what can be listed here.
If you do a search you will find hundreds of podcasts about writing, books, and people sharing their stories and then you can decide.
From my perspective, I find them invaluable. So if you're interested in all things about reading and writing, starting, learning, being inspired, I encourage you to check some of them out. I don't think you will be disappointed.