Over the past three years, podcasts have skyrocketed in popularity, and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down. Audio streaming platform Spotify even saw consistent year-on-year growth in paying subscribers since 2020 due to the popularity of podcasts. This is good news for writers, as podcasts can offer you a wealth of information that can benefit your craft — from style and form, to book reviews and literary theory. In fact, there’s a podcast for literally everything that you can use as a source material.
Still need proof? Here’s how podcasts can improve your writing.
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How Can Listening to Podcasts Improve Your Writing
The benefit of listening to a podcast as opposed to, say, reading an article about the topic you’re consuming is that you’re given access to a more personal and less scripted version of the subject. In addition to gaining objective information, it can enhance your perception of the tone, jargon, and conventions of the subject so that you can incorporate them better into your writing.
As an example, our article on ‘Writing a Realistic Essay Speech’ highlights the importance of finding the right tone to relate to your audience. So, if you’re working on something that requires talking about business, it will be much easier to assume a formal tone if you knew what “business formal” sounded like.
Don’t get us wrong — podcasts are definitely not a replacement for reading. But they’re a good way to supplement reading, especially if you’re an auditory learner. In the same way that it’s easier to process lessons in school after listening to your teacher talk about them, it’s easier and quicker to understand texts after listening to podcasts that have discussed similar content.
Moreover, with how fast-paced and demanding the world is today, writers rarely have time to pursue their craft full-time. Podcasts are a great middle ground for learning on the go or passively when you need half of your mind to focus on something else. Whether you’re doing errands, traveling, or working with your hands, you can have podcasts playing in the background.
Expanding your knowledge pool
Nothing goes to waste when you’re writing. For example, if you’re writing about a city you shouldn’t just research its culture, politics, and history, it will pay to also know how its people dispose of trash, what bars they like to frequent, and what their transportation system is like. Which is why often, you won’t even know what you need to look for until you’ve found it.
Podcasts allow you to dip your toes into a world of topics you may have previously been unaware of, and you’re bound to learn something you wouldn’t even have known to look for. Even if you’re not going to copy material directly, they can give you inspiration on what aspects of your writing you can explore, and how to approach it.
How to get started
With whatever genre you’re writing in, there’s bound to be a podcast that can help you build your skillset. Here are some notable ones.
– For the writing process and publication, check out The Creative Penn Podcast.
– If you are interested in book reviews and critique, we suggest the Between the Covers Podcast.
– For those who want to get deep into literary theory do listen to Zer0 Books.
There are many platforms through which you can listen to podcasts, and while some of them are behind a paywall, many of them are free and offer convenient interfaces. Scribd’s podcasts are sorted into categories so you can easily find podcasts that appeal to your specific interests. They also have a featured section that contains award-winning podcasts, if you don’t know where to start. Meanwhile, Spotify has tons of free podcasts that you can easily save alongside your music. Other platforms you can check out include Audible and Apple Podcasts, although some of their content must be paid for.
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With technology, the methods for learning have expanded exponentially — and podcasts serve as an incredible resource for writers to learn. Mark Twain has been widely quoted for saying, “Write what you know.” But true writers know that a more appropriate phrase would be to know what you write about. By learning broadly about the world, you can break the limits of the familiar and expand your writing to something truly creative.