Podcasts: Everybody's doing them! There's a lot to like about this form of audio entertainment, beginning with the width and breadth of the listening options. Name your favorite topics, and the odds are very good that there's someone--or a whole lot of someones--producing podcasts that speak to those interests. Part of the fun is weeding through the seemingly endless options, listening to the unique perspectives and range of voices on beloved subjects, and settling on the ones that really resonate and becoming a faithful audience member. Of the zillions of 'casts aimed at smart, creative women, these are my favorites. What are some of yours?
Beautiful Writers Podcast
Who: Danielle LaPorte and Linda Sivertsen
What: Their tagline is "talking shop with creatives," and--surprise!--they deliver on their promise with juicy episodes featuring both big and lesser-known names in the literary, publishing, and creative worlds. These ladies are sassy (and don't hold back with their colorful language), authentic, and fun. Expect lots of laughter from the hosts, as well as some awkward interrupting and talking over each other from time to time. There's also plenty of deep chat on edgy topics ranging from spirituality to how to negotiate a book deal.
Best for listening to while: Prepping dinner
Who: Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft
What: The author of the best-selling book The Happiness Project--which charts her year-long experiment attempting to increase the happiness factor in her already-happy life--didn't resonate with everyone who read it (some reviews were overly critical), but her podcast, which is co-hosted by her sister, is fun and definitely more accessible to the masses. Together, the siblings offer smart East Coast/West Coast dialog in a dry, cerebral style, welcome interesting guests and engage listeners with interactive prompts, and deliver topics of discussion that feel meaningful (relationships; dealing with life's hardships; working through creative blocks, etc. ) There's some random(ish) bible banter, but it's not full-throttle Jesus time, thank the lord.
Best for listening to while: Commuting to work
Who: Elizabeth Gilbert
What: Who doesn't love Liz Gilbert? Eat, Pray, Love was her big breakthrough, but her latest literary offering, Big Magic, is an equally enticing work of non-fiction. This podcast is clearly positioned as an avenue for plugging the book, but the plugs don't feel gimmicky or over-the-top salesy. Gilbert's actual voice is identical to the voice she presents on paper, so if you're a fan of her books, you'll love this podcast. Each episode is short and action-packed, and features chats (many peppered with salty language) with writer-heroines du jour, including Cheryl Strayed and Brene Brown. You, like me, might have to restrain yourself from listening to all 12 episodes in one fell swoop.
Best for listening to while: Soaking in a hot bath