10 Podcasts To Spark Creativity

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If you’re like me, getting quickly back to work after the festive spirit of the holidays is about as likely as the Kardashian clan is to stop taking selfies. And if your work is in the creative world, the likelihood is somewhere closer to the Kardashians telling the paparazzi to stop taking their pictures. In other words, when hell freezes over!

But don’t distress. Over the last few years, I’ve found a sure fire way to combat that frozen ambition inside… Here are 10 podcasts that will help you get back into the swing of things and spark creativity in the New Year.

Stuff You Missed In History Class

Just as the title indicates this podcast is about history. Now, stymie that eye roll and hear me out…

If you were ever curious about the political machinations of the Medici family or how the court proceedings of Salem witch trials actually played out, you will love this podcast. The saying “truth is stranger than fiction” has never been more appropriate than when applied to historical occurrences. From the “Bloody Benders” to the “Venus Hottentot”, any writer will surely find inspiration.

Stuff You Should Know

This is probably my favorite podcast! Not only can you learn technical things like how digestion works in the human body but if you’ve ever wondered how “Jack The Ripper” “worked,” hosts, Chuck and Josh, will take you through it. With their good-natured personalities and witty banter, you not only will learn something new, but you will be enchanted by their unflappably “good guy” vibes.

Stuff Your Mom Never Told You

Hosted by Cristen and Caroline, two millennials out to charm you off your feet, this podcast will satisfy that feminist thirst for knowledge while highlighting history’s impact on the fairer sex. Whether you want to know about the role of “Lady Detectives” in literature or the “Man Behind The Pill”, this is a worthwhile listen for both female and male writers looking for a fresh take on a character’s “point-of-view.” 

Nerdist Writers’ Panel

I’ve been listening to this one for several years now and it’s, hands down, an essential one for writers. Its one of the few podcast where you can hear Showrunners, high level tv writer/producers and screenwriters discuss craft, story creations, as well as, how and why their projects succeeded or failed. Ben Blacker, the host, is a writer and very in tune with probable audience questions. I always finish an episode with a great amount of satisfaction.

Scriptnotes

John August and Craig Mazin have really figured out a way to impart knowledge about screenwriting craft and industry acumen in this very popular podcast. Mazin’s “lovable curmudgeon” personality is a great compliment to August’s unwavering “good-natured demeanor” and I personally look forward to hearing them every Tuesday. The 3 page challenge is especially helpful if you’re stuck on how to make a scene work better or just want to learn how to fix “problem areas” in your script.

WTF With Marc Maron

Voted one of iTunes top podcasts for many years in a row for good reason, this podcast has been especially helpful when I’m feeling “creatively stuck.” Maron has interviewed everyone from President Obama to Keith Richards. And that was just in the last two months of the past year! Often hilarious and surprisingly poignant, this podcast is great for any artist interested in learning about how a creative life can be lived. Yes, most of the people that are interviewed have been extremely successful in their careers. But the good stuff is revealed when they talk, very candidly, about their mistakes and regrets.

Freakanomics

I know this seems out of left field but just consider this… Have you ever pondered, “How Did The Belt Win?”

Probably not! But, while listening to this episode, I began to picture a life without belts. What would gunslingers use to hold their guns at high noon? Would 1980s fashion look without those Butterfly belts? Would we have spandex – you get the drift!

Yes, this podcast is just a clever rouse to get me to think about my worst Freshman class subject – Economics – but it does so by engaging my curiosity and imagination in an unexpected way. And that, my friends, is a great way to think of the next big tv show idea!!!

RadioLab

This was my first introduction to podcasts. The best way to describe this podcast is an adventure for your ears. Each episode creates a psychological and “muscle-mind” memory for the listener. Delightful and always relaxing, this podcast often reminds me to try and approach my stories in a fresh and imaginative way.

You Must Remember This

Hosted by Karina Longworth, a Hollywood historian, this is a one of a kind experience. In her nine-part series on “Charles Manson’s Hollywood,” Longworth manages to not only give the audience an accurate account of events, but she helps them make sense of the seemingly “inevitability” to the whole tragedy and massacre that came out of the drug-laden narcissism of a Hollywood on the verge of seismic cultural revolution. I was riveted!!!

Sawbones: A Martial Tour of Misguided Medicine

Not for the squeamish, this is a great podcast for any writer needing a workable knowledge of medical history. Maybe you’re doing research for a script about 1880s NYC and want to understand what was considered “acceptable hygiene” at the time. Or perhaps your setting is in Ancient Rome and you discover that bathhouses were closed down to prevent the spread of syphilis. Yikes!

 

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Lavetta Cannon

About Lavetta Cannon

Lavetta Cannon is a nerd/writer/improviser living in Los Angeles where she is in training to become a “cougar.” She loves eating carbs and all things Japanese. When she’s not listening to a plethora of podcasts, she is watching an inappropriate amount of television. Follow her on twitter@lavetta_cannon or on instagram@lavettacannon.