Thursday, April 5, 2018

E is for Writing Excuses

Welcome to Day 5 of the A-Z challenge. This year I am reviewing podcasts. Day 5 is the letter E, and I had a hard time finding a podcast that I liked that began with the letter E. This particular letter involved way too much research, especially considering that I'd been hearing great things about Writing Excuses for years. Imagine me rolling my eyes at myself.

Writing Excuses is hosted by some combination of Dan Wells, Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette-Kowal and Howard Tayler.  I'm not a long-time listener yet, but  I will be someday! As of this writing, I've listened to four episodes, and I imagine I've got many readers who are already long time listeners, so forgive me if my description is not completely accurate.  

Each episode I've listened to has most of the hosts plus a special guest. For some reason, I picture them sitting in a classroom with their individual desks arranged in a circle. They discuss some aspect of the craft of writing, give a recommendation of a book that is an excellent example of that writing, and then they give us some writing homework. There is a heavy emphasis on fantasy and science fiction, which are my favorite genres, but there is talk about other types of writing--one host is writing a murder mystery, and one is a cartoonist, and they try to be useful to all sort of authors. 

Category: Literature

What's my time commitment here?
Their tagline is "15 minutes long, because you're in a hurry, and we're not that smart!" Episodes are released once a week, but none of the ones I listened to kept to the 15-minute rule. They were all closer to 20 minutes, which is my favorite podcast length.

My Review:
It took me 5 or 6 attempts to finally finish an episode of Writing Excuses. At the time I was in a panic because although I had most of the letters for the A-Z challenge, those few I didn't have were taking a lot longer to find than I'd expected. So I had loads of extra podcasts cluttering up my queue, and I was rejecting podcasts left and right (I finally begin to understand how an editor might feel...) I couldn't quite hit unsubscribe, but I couldn't get through an episide either. Things went more smoothly after I committed to listening to the whole episode. This is a gem of a podcast--real authors who know real things and who are committed to helping other authors take it to the next level, whatever that may be. I'm hooked! Now when I hit pause it's because I need to think a plotline through. I love anything that gets me to that place, and Writing Excuses does that for me.

You can listen to it here or where ever you listen to your podcasts.


  1. It sounds like the perfect podcast for would-be authors. I've never felt inspired to write a book, but there are an awful lot of bloggers out there who've written several - they amaze me!

    Leanne |
    E for Enjoy Life Today

  2. It sounds like a great podcast for writers. Kind of like attending a writing support group each week. I also like that they give you assignments. Sometimes external prompts can be really fun.
    Weekends In Maine

  3. visiting from A to Z - I love their tagline - makes me want to listen!

  4. Sharing tips on writing with book recommendations and assignments, seem like a perfect master class for would-be-authors. Thanks for sharing, Melanie! :)
    A to Z of Travel Essentials You Need for Your Holidays #AtoZChallenge

  5. That does sound like a helpful podcast. When I can commit to time to listen, I will! Have to go make a note of it in a non-losable place.

    1. This is Mainely Write...told you I'd get here!

    2. Thanks for all your research on podcasts. I don't often listen to one unless it's my friend because I just haven't found one that suits me. This sounds like a winner. I really like the idea of recommending a book as an example of their topic. And the byline sounds like they have a good sense of humor.
      JQ Rose

  6. Ahh, writing excuses. I don't watch podcasts, guess my visual attention span is too short. But I have plenty of writing excuses. Right now I'm trying to get through the flash fiction story for the letter N. I try to write two a day but somedays I'm lucky to get one. Eeek!!

    Donna B. McNicol|Author and Traveler
    A to Z Flash Fiction Stories|A to Z of Goldendoodles

  7. I'm so happy I found your blog. I don't know much about podcast and I think, here, I'm going to learn a lot. Writing Excuses seems perfect for me.

  8. I'm not a podcast person, but I'm starting to feel like I'm missing out. Twenty minutes sounds doable, though.

    A Bit to Read

  9. I'll def check out your podcasts after this challenge is over. They sound very interesting and the writing excuses... hits home. LOL

  10. I'm going to start bookmarking these. Hopefully I will find the time to go back and listen to some of your favorites.

  11. Sounds like an interesting podcast. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Hmmm, this one has potential too. You're filling up my podcast bin rapidly!

    A-Zing this year at:
    Normally found at:

  13. oooh I will have to find that one. I'm always looking for new free resources about writing

  14. Really informative podcast - thanks for sharing it and your review and introduction to it.

    Heard "13.15: What Writers Get Wrong, with Mike Stop Continues" through the link you shared. Planning to hear a few more ... Awesome resource for writers.