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Today I am announcing a new personal passion project: a weekly podcast conversation with master writers from an array of different forms.
Humans have spoken to each other for maybe 100,000 years (or, uh, a lot longer). But we’ve only had writing for 6,000 of them. We’ve cultivated corn for twice as long.
Even though it’s relatively new, we have lots of forms of writing: from short stories and novels to journalism and memoir to poems and lyrics and comics and software code. When I talk to friends who are gifted in any of these, I find they listen closely to the Greats in their form. But rarely the Greats from the other forms. That feels like an opportunity.
That’s why I’m launching The Writing Process, a weekly podcast conversation I have with masters from all of the many writing forms. Please subscribe on iTunes or other places podcasts can be found. I’ll also be posting each episode here.
For the last 10 years, I’ve been a journalist and an editor, a sometimes fiction writer and frequent storyteller. I’m a pretender linguist and an armchair historian. Most importantly though: I really like words. And I really like talking to other people who like words. Especially about how they find an idea, translate it into words and then refine it for maximum punch.
This podcast is exactly the kind of conversations I want to have. (Helpfully I have some podcast experience, from my six-month pop-up of Story Shuffle last year to a Technical.ly monthly podcast).
This inaugural season of The Writing Process is stacked with major leaders with topical and timely experiences:
- USA Today journalist Jess Estepa (on-going Trump White House coverage)
- Novelist Zinzi Clemmons (bravely and prominently joined #MeToo movement)
- Rapper Chill Moody (new song release)
- Comedian Todd Glass (new Netflix special)
- YA author Blair Thornburgh (2017 Harper Collins release of ‘Who’s That Girl‘)
- Memoirist Lori Tharps (new book on transracialism)
- Poet Danez Smith ()
- Songwriter John Elliott (forthcoming new album)
- Daily Show correspondent Dulcé Sloan (Rolling Stone Top Comic of 2017)
- Rapper TI (oh, well, there’s always something)
With them all, I dive deeply into their writing process. We dissect actual examples of their work following their ideas from conception to consumption.
Consider that with an maybe 60,000 words or so, we essentially see our use of the English language as limitless. It’s something legendary linguist Noam Chomsky called “discrete infinity.”
Humans are still new at this whole writing thing, and with an ever-growing number of platforms on which to do it, you want to learn how to do it better. Visit WritingProcessPod.com and subscribe wherever podcasts are available so you can Choose your words more carefully.
For those of you interested in the details: I recorded many of these interviews in vastly different ways — a few over Zencastr but relied on iPhone Voice Memos for final audio, one recorded using a journalist-focused mobile app, a couple in-person. I’m still editing using Audacity (I’m a print journalist by training, alright!) The theme song was produced by my dear friend James Spadola, whom you’ll hear more from during this season.