If you're anything like me (if you are, I'm so sorry), you spent your vacation hanging out with family, friends, vacationing, and generally not giving a shit about anything at all. Sure, I checked email, kept tabs on my clients, and wrote the occasional side note for my novel, but for the most part I did very little, actual work.
And you know what? That's okay.
After working like a dog for 8 years in the tech industry, where I was under the misguided and profoundly stupid belief that hard work meant never taking breaks, I decided a while ago that I'm the boss of me. And my boss says to reward myself, and refresh my brain by taking a vacation every once in a while. Which is exactly what I did.
And while I don't feel the effects just yet, taking some time off can do wonders for your creativity. I have two books in the works that I've shaped while my brain was taking a break from the copywriting world. My goal is to have one of them ready to go by 2016 (to be fair, I said the same thing last year and that didn't turn out so well. Don't judge me).
For my first blog post of 2016, I want to talk about Podcasts: why I feel they are a necessary part of my life, and my top 7 Podcasts I think you should listen to, whether you are a creative or not. If you're making a huge list of New Year's resolutions that you may or may keep, let me throw in "Listen to more podcasts" into that mix, and here's why.
Why you should give a shit about Podcasts
You know that whole time period in the morning, where you wake up, take a shower, brush your teeth, put silicone lens into your eyeballs, walk your dog, eat sausage, or whatever the hell it is you do in the AM? Well you could be doing all that and more if you were a regular podcaster.
I used to ho hum at podcasts but now I get it. It's like listening to an audio book, but without all of the intellectual, have to pay attention bullshit. It's mostly entertainment, but if its a good podcast you'll learn about something too.
Ways they can help
I do listen to podcasts to help my career, but I would say the majority of the podcasts I listen to are things that just interest me in general. The biggest benefit though is what I alluded to earlier, assuming you were paying attention, that is saves you time. It's the ultimate multi-tasking tool. You can literally work and learn at the same time. You can prepare dinner for the family and listen to ways to improve your grammar simultaneously. It's really a no lose situation.
7 Podcasts you should subscribe to right now
- Anna Faris is Unqualified. You might know her as the awkward girl in the "Scary Movie" spoof movies, or perhaps Chris Pratt's wife, but Anna Faris' podcast is a national treasure. Listen as her and her celebrity guests give well meaning, but questionable at times advice to listeners across the country. Hands down the funniest podcast I've heard.
- Serial. This is the motherload of all Podcasts. Seasons 2 is kinda meh, but season 1 is on some Game of Thrones-Making a Murderer-Walking Dead hype level type shit. Get it.
- TED Radio Hour. Pretty self explanatory. If you like TED, you'll like this podcast. And if you don't know what TED is, then I'll be seeing you at the next Trump rally.
- Freakonomics Radio. Based on the book I haven't read, Freakonomics radio is probably the most interesting podcast out there, covering everything from advertising, to human migration.
- Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert. Elizabeth Gilbert is the lady who wrote Eat, Pray, Love, which should give you some idea of the podcast's content. Great for creatives and people who do yoga.
- The Bill Simmons Podcast. For the intellectual sports fan, Bill Simmons mostly talks football and basketball in this hour long discussion that feels less like ESPN and more like a talk with you and a buddy over some beers. It's too bad he's a Patriots fan.
- The Self Publishing Podcast. Since I'm a writer, I enjoy listening to podcasts that discuss the art and business of writing. These guys sound like down to earth guys, so they're decent to listen to.
3 more Podcasts for creatives
- 99% Invisible. Seems like they mostly cover architectural design, but do it in a cool and interesting way that makes it seem applicable to any creative field.
- CreativeMornings. They don't seem to put out new episodes very often, but when they do, they're awesome. Think TED talks but focused on entrepreneurship and creativity.
- The Freelancer. A podcast on how to thrive in the freelance business. The host is a graphic designer, and always has really good practical advice.
I was going to do more, but honestly, there's a bunch of podcasts on my list that I simply wouldn't endorse. Some of them can be long, tedious, or annoying, so sometimes you have to sift through the sludge to get to the good stuff.
I hope my list helps get you started, and on your way to be a regular podcast listener. You too can be an anti-social outcast with their headphones all the time while you're out in public, so get listening, and have some fun!