July 24, 2016

Listen up! 5 Podcasts for Freelance Writers

I’m in the midst of packing for a cross-town move this week, so saying things are chaotic is an understatement. More like an office and kitchen supply store exploded in my living room. One bright spot of packing is that it gives me plenty of time to catch up on podcasts I’ve downloaded from iTunes. I also listen to podcasts as I’m washing the dishes, tidying up my apartment, folding laundry, or running errands, and it makes me feel productive even when I’m not typing away on my computer.

In addition to podcasts about online marketing and personal finance, I’ve found a handful of podcasts that offer insights on the craft and business of writing or more broadly explore creativity. Here’s a look at five of them.

  1. A Little Bird Told Me – Freelance writers from across the pond Lorrie Hartshorn and Philippa Willitt discuss “the highs, the lows, and the no-no’s of successful self-employment,” as they put it. Recent podcasts have covered topics like brainstorming ideas, turning one-off clients into regulars, and breaking into new markets. I especially like Lorrie and Pippa’s friendly banter and their charming British accents! 
  2. Longform – Produced by Longform and The Atavist, the Longform podcast is a weekly conversation with a non-fiction editor or writer who produces long-form journalism. My sweet spot seems to be articles around 800 words, so I’m always impressed by writers who can craft a beautiful, cohesive narrative that runs 5,000+ words. Recent guests have included New York Times obituary writer Margalit Fox, Vanity Fair and New York contributing editor Vanessa Grigoriadis, and former GOOD editor turned freelancer Ann Friedman.
  3. High-Income Business Writing – You might already know Ed Gandia from The Wealthy Freelancer or the International Freelancers Academy. He recently launched this podcast to explore how business writers can boost their productivity, attract higher-paying clients, raise their fees, and more. A few podcasts have focused on specific niches like white papers or case studies, with Ed inviting a subject matter expert to discuss those niches. Other times, Ed simply speaks from his own experiences as a writer and shares how he made his own business a success.
  4. Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing – Need a refresher on word choice, commas, or passive voice? Mignon Fogarty of Quick and Dirty Tips explains the nuances of the English language in short, playful podcasts, often using real-world examples to illustrate the concepts. I especially liked her recent podcast on how texting is changing English.
  5. The Accidental Creative – This podcast isn’t directly tied to writing, but the concept of creativity is one that writers often grapple with. Todd Henry, author of the book by the same name, interviews artists and creative luminaries to find out how they stay productive and inspired even on deadline or under pressure.

Your turn! Are there any podcasts I’ve left out? Which ones are your favorite(s)? Leave a comment and let us know!

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net