Don't have time to #read? Listen instead! #podcasts #writetip #mondayblogs

I am endlessly curious about the world and about the people around me. I talk to strangers about their lives. I used to read a lot of magazines and news articles, too. This curiosity is one of the things that made me a good journalist -- and I think still helps inform me as a fiction writer. 

But, I have very little time in my life any more to indulge my curiosity about the world. I have a four year old son and very little free time that doesn't involve "mommying." I don't watch T.V. when my son is around because he'll demand to watch one of "his shows." I only have about 30 minutes before bed every night to read.

So how do I keep my creative juices flowing these days with stories about the world?

Because I don't have the time to sit down and read a book, I've discovered the next best thing. I listen to engrossing podcasts instead!

You should too! It will help make you a better writer. Don't believe me? Check one of these out and then let me know if you feel inspired.

Here are some of my favorite podcasts, which get my thinking and are examples of great journalism and story-telling (which is, obviously, what we're looking for whether it's fiction or non-fiction, right?)

Reply All

This is billed as a "show about the Internet," but it's really a show about people and how the Internet impacts people's lives. One of the best episodes told the story of a woman who tried to diagnose a mysterious illness with the help of the online world.

Sword and Scale

This is my personal favorite podcast. This is a true crime gem and a MUST LISTEN if you like Serial (season 1), the Jinx or Making a Murderer. The host, Mike Boudet, is an excellent reporter and puts together his stories with immersive audio you literally can't find anywhere else. The best episode so far -- one that stayed with me long after it ended -- told the heartbreaking story of Pheobe Jonchuck, whose father threw her off a bridge to her death.

The Lapse Storytelling Podcast

This show is amazing and so different. It features stories by random people who have submitted them to be featured, and the stories can be about anything and everything. One of the most memorable is from the host's mother and her story of her friendship with a homeless man.


I hope this one returns one day for new episodes because I binge-listened to the whole set of episodes in one weekend. This show is about the "invisible things" that shape our lives, and covers topics like fear, technology and thoughts. Check out this episode, but seriously, they are all great.


One of the most popular podcasts out there, Radiolab is about a little bit of everything. You have to wade through a lot of episodes to find things that really cater to your SPECIFIC interests, but I have decided to just go with whatever these guys want to talk to me about, because whatever they decide to do a story on always ends up to be seriously fascinating. One of my favorites recently involves a story of obtaining children from overseas. Check it out.

To learning more about the world,