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Listen Up! My Secret Solution To Stealing Creative Time...
How do you make the most of every minute you have?
Soon I’ll be blogging about how to squeeze every moment you can out of your writing day, but today I’m going to share one of my top secret tips.
When it comes to making the most of the time you have, nothing beats audio. You can listen to the new must-read story while you go for a run, soak up a lecture on craft while you’re doing the grocery shopping, or grab some inspiration while you’re driving to work or school.
For me, audio is all about reclaiming time you’d otherwise lose. Here are my top choices!
For craft: The Odyssey Writing Workshop is a six week intensive workshop for writers of fantasy, science fiction and horror—but the lectures are for everyone. Each month a new free podcast is released—they’re usually 20 – 30 minutes in length, and feature a highly experienced author, editor or literary agent serving up some wisdom on an aspect of writing. The length means they’re perfect for squeezing in when you’re on the go. A few of my favourites are Melissa Scott on World Building, and Terry Bisson on Setting. For more, search ‘odyssey writing workshop’ on iTunes.
For inspiration: Where do the sparks of ideas for stories come from? If you’re searching for inspiration and a treasure trove of stories you’d never have dreamed existed, look no further than the free and fabulous Stuff You Missed In History Class. In a gorgeously conversational style that makes you feel like you’re hearing the story from your two best friends, the presenters deliver podcasts ranging from 10 – 30 minutes on the stories you never learned at school. There is so much inspiration to be found here! Ever wondered how Stanley came to say “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” or who the real Bluebeard was? You’re in the right place.
A few of my favourites are “Little Queen for President” (about the first female candidate for the US presidency, back in 1872!), “The Tussaud Test of Popularity” (who really was Madame Tussaud, and why did she have such terrible taste in men?) and “Who Was The Mistress of Murder Hill?” (you’ll have to listen to find out!). They also do great features around women’s history, black history month, and lots of other occasions. You’re guaranteed to find a gem that will spark an idea! To download, search ‘stuff you missed in history class’ on iTunes.
For leisure: Do you watch an endless succession of must-read books fly by, and wonder how there’s time to read them all? Are you scared your To-Be-Read pile is going to topple in the night and bury you? Time to consider audiobooks. With the right narrator, a story can come to life, and just as importantly, you’re much less likely to crash your car listening to a book than trying to read one. (Added bonus: I’ve found that telling myself I can only listen to a fantastic book if I’m exercising or doing housework means I’m both fit and productive!) My all time favorite audiobook is Nathaniel Parker’s reading of Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer. He does all the voices.
What’s your favourite podcast, or your favorite audiobook? I’d love to add to my collection!