I used to spend a lot of time listening to other people talk (no, really). Leonard Lopate (my absolute favorite), Dr. Oz, Jean Chatzky, NPR, and BBC filled my non-reading, solitary time. I had a whole spate of podcasts on everything from lean manufacturing to grammar. I listened while I walked the dog, drove the car, mowed the lawn, painted a room, worked out, got ready in the morning…you name it.
Then one day, I decided to try writing again, and suddenly all of that listening material got in the way. If someone else was talking, I couldn’t hear myself think about my story and my characters. I dropped all of my podcasts and radio shows in favor of using that precious solitary time to think about my writing.
The downside is that I’m no longer exposed to the thoughts and ideas that actually might provide more fodder for my books. And, I miss the interviews with authors, curators, politicians, performers, lexicographers, grammarians, chefs, financial gurus, scientists, and heroes.
Maybe it’s time to stop listening only to myself and start listening to more interesting people again.
Maybe a fantastic story idea is actually lurking in the next podcast.
Maybe I can find a way to catch my favorite topics without consuming all of my spare time.
“Honey! What’s that iTunes password again?”
What have you given up for your writing, and could you find a way to get at least part of it back?