My latest short story "The Night the Lights Came On"

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How Podcasting Improves my Writing

I've heard from many writers that one of the best ways to improve your writing is to read your work out loud. When you read your own work, your eye reads over things that are incorrect because you see what you think is there, not what is actually there. Reading it out loud forces you to perceive the words through a different sense, and by hearing the work you’re bypassing your brain’s ability to see what it wants to see. You'll catch things you wouldn't by simply reading what's on the page. In listening back to my short stories I've noticed that I make 2 huge mistakes often:

1. Show Don't Tell
2. Using adverbs (ex: quickly)

Also I've noticed I like to use the phrase "made a rush for..." Now that I've seen this, I can endeavor to edit all future writing, with these problems in mind.

I have three main reasons for starting this podcast.

1. To improve my writing.
2. Self imposed deadlines, to increase output.
3. To put content out there before releasing a full novel in podcast form for practice and exposure.

I'll be the first to tell you I have a long way to go as a writer, but I will get there. I'm going to try my hand at Scott Sigler's 3-5 year plan. Scott is the most successful podcast fiction author out there, a New York Times bestseller. He got there because he's a good writer, but also because he's put in a lot of hard work podcasting his fiction for free consistently. He was on his fifth podcast novel when he got a deal with Crown. I'd also like to point out that my favorite Podiobooks author Nathan Lowell recently received a publishing deal. Nathan's not a guy who promotes much, but he is extremely prolific, and has put out 7 books in 3 years, since he started podcasting Quarter Share back in 2007. That is a lot of content for his fans! I think there's something to this consistently thing, but back to Sigler. He suggests that instead of spending time trying to get published the traditional route, use that time to release your novels as free podcast audio books, building up a fan base that you can then use to leverage a deal with a publisher down the road. He says to expect it to take 3 to 5 years before you start to see things happening. It’s not like this is a sure bet towards publication, but he has 3 things that should help you; getting sick of my numbered lists yet?

1. Quality Content
2. Consistency
3. Promotion

So for me this means:

1. Continuing to better my writing skills so that I'm putting out quality content, and having self imposed deadlines of releasing one short story a month so I'll be writing a lot and hopefully improving a lot.

2. Finishing at least 2 books so I can start writing a third while releasing the first two, and finishing the entire audio production of the first book before even releasing the first episode to ensure a CONSISTENT weekly release of each episode.

3. Doing what I can to let people know about my stories via social media, creating promos for other podcasters to play, and anything else I can do to promote my work.

I obtained these great Scott Sigler nuggets of wisdom from listening to his interviews on podcasts, primarily The Adventures of Indiana Jim - Adventures 17 & 18, and follow those up with Adventure 37 where Jim talks about all of this stuff and how it relates to his work. @indianajim, who plans to follow Sigler’s advice, also has a similar blog post to the one you just read here.

Thanks for joining me in this quest for publication. It may be a long road, but it should prove to be a lot of fun. Watch for my next podcast short story “Evil Takes Flight” to drop this Friday.


  1. Anything that drives you to write more and improve your writing is a good thing.

  2. Yes sir, very true. Thanks for the comment Scott! I can't wait to see the first issue of Flying Island Press's E-Zine Flagship drop on the 4th of July! It's going to be awesome! Everyone reading these comments go and check out: