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podcasts improve writing

5 Ways Podcasts Can Improve Your Writing

There are so many great writing podcasts out there now that it’s easy to find a whole wealth of expertise specific to your writing style. I’ve found that they’re a great way to start the day and inspire me to sit behind the keyboard and start tapping. 

Listening to someone else talk about the craft can spark the motivation I need to get going, getting me in the right mindset for a day of writing. In many ways, it’s like having easy access to a network of like-minded people, where you can hear their successes and learn from their struggles. 

And while you could passively listen to the same old podcasts for hours and hours every morning, there are ways you can switch up your podcast time to really develop your craft.

Try getting out of the box by discovering non-writing podcasts that can help you while also enjoying the best writing-focused episodes the podcast world has to offer. If you’re ready to mix things up and broaden your listening, try these five different ways to get you started.

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Need Writing Inspiration? Try Roleplay

As writers, staying inspired is one of our biggest challenges. Sometimes the juices stop flowing, and you’ll try anything to get your mojo back. There are many different techniques writers use to stimulate creativity, such as brainstorming, reading, going on an adventure, and meditating. Some techniques are conventional, while others are unusual. 

One of the most unconventional methods is roleplay … or so I thought. When I was in grad school studying negotiation, often my professors would have the class roleplay a scenario so that we could practice different tactics that we had learned in class. 

Roleplaying allowed me to become someone else, a character. I improvised every aspect of the character—their personality, the way they talked, background information, storylines—and tried to use this character that I created to my advantage to negotiate the best deal with my classmate. 

Not only was it fun, but as the character, I could try different negotiation skills that I wouldn’t try as myself because they’re not my personal style. My character, however, did not have any reservations about the tactics used. Through roleplay, I was able to improve my skillset and practice other negotiation strategies that I wouldn’t have otherwise. 

Roleplaying can help you generate inspiration for your writing, too. 

Out of all of the methods I have tried, I have found that roleplaying helps me to embody the character or story you want to tell, making the words fall onto the page effortlessly. Not only can roleplaying be used as a mechanism for stimulating creativity in writing fiction, but it also can be used in other types of writing such as nonfiction and copywriting. Let me explain what roleplaying is and how you can use it to spark creativity in your own writing. 

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Dialects: How to Write in a New Voice

If you’re a fiction writer, you’ve probably run into the age-old problem of characters’ voices blending together until their conversations resemble nothing more than an echo chamber of yours. 

Crafting character voices is a struggle, and many writers also face the added challenge of writing a character with a dialect different from their own. Messing up one character’s accent has the potential to not only derail the entire narrative but also reflects poorly on the writer, so finding the right voice is vital. The last thing a writer wants to do is offend their audience with an offensive portrayal of their dialect.

Luckily, there are a few basic dos and don’ts that can be followed by any writer to ensure their phonologically diverse characters read like real human beings. 

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Why Writer’s Write. Hint: it’s not for Fame, Money, or Glory

The art of writing is considered a natural thing by many. For the most part, we are all taught to write at a very young age. We go through the process of learning letters to make words and then combining these words to make sentences. It is something we do every day. But, writing as a craft is something that is not natural. It takes practice. Over and over again.

In Bad Ideas about Writing by Ball and Loewe, one chapter written by Holbrook and Hundley states that “The belief that writing emerges, Athena-like, fully developed from the writer’s head minimizes both the labor involved and the expectation that writing is a skill that can be improved.” The authors go on to say that, “The view that writing is effortless and done on the side by extraordinary people dismisses the real effort writers put into their work….” 

The truth is, writing is hard. It takes time, effort, and the proverbial blood, sweat, and tears. And still, writers write.

Why, you may wonder. 

Writers write for many different, often personal, reasons, and they learn to take rejection and criticism as part of the life-long writing process. Perhaps writing is best summed up by poet and writer Daniela Perfetti R, “I write to create words in which I want to live when it’s difficult for me to inhabit my own skin. I write because, by writing, I build a path towards myself and connect with my essence, with my being. I write because by doing so, I return to myself.”

Let’s take a look at the various reasons that might motivate a writer, and, who knows; you might discover a thing or two about yourself—or the writer in your life!

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