How I Don’t Write

Podcast Normal by logan_x, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  logan_x 

There are many ways I go about not writing. You might say that not writing is my main hobby, much as are not collecting stamps, not playing golf, and not training for a marathon. But not writing is different than those others in that it’s something I actually engage in not doing rather than just . . . not . . . doing.

There’s . . . it’s a huge difference. Just trust me on this.

When I’m engaged in activities during which writing would be dangerous or at the very least bad for me (driving, showering, working), I’m usually listening to podcasts. If you don’t know what a podcast is, what time frame have you traveled here from, and how did you find my page? Just kidding. I know podcasts are not necessarily common knowledge. In fact, the spell-checker in WordPress doesn’t know what ‘podcast’ is and keeps underlining it to make me fix the spelling. Of course, it also does that for ‘audiobook.’

Podcasts are like radio shows that are recorded and can then be downloaded onto whatever device you like, and then listened to on your own schedule. Or they can be like audiobooks. Or videos. They can be strongly about a single topic or generally about whatever pops into the host’s head. They can be entertaining or informative. Or they can be just two guys talking into microphones about nothing (picture Seinfeld, only it’s just Jerry and George or Kramer or Elaine sitting in a room talking for a period of time, and you’re watching / listening).

YouTube Logo

YouTube Logo

When I’m at home after my long day of dangerous (writing-wise) or bad-for-me (writing-wise) pursuits, I engage in a more direct form of not writing: YouTube.

I weaned myself from the teat of cable television in 2005 for . . . reasons. Not the least of which was paying $120/month for 150 channels, of which I actively watched eight, and I DVR’d the shows I wanted and watched them without commercials. Since then, I’ve let NetFlix, Hulu Plus, and YouTube take the place of cable. The only drawback is that I tend not to see current shows that people actually want to talk about until they’re no longer relevant. (Hey, did you see the massive pile of suck that was the finale of Lost?)

Turns out, it’s just as easy to sit in front of my computer and drool while watching stupid people doing stupid things as it is to sit in front of my TV and drool which watching stupid people doing stupid things. And that’s just the news channels.

Now that I have Apple TV, I can do both at the same time.

YouTube channels run the gamut just like podcasts do. They can be entertaining or informative. They can be about something or nothing. They can be people sitting in front of a camera telling you about their day. And millions of people watch them. There are YouTube channels that get more views than most TV shows.

So of course I have to tell you which podcasts I listen to/watch, and which YouTube channels I watch. Because it makes me feel somewhat guilty just looking at how very many there are. And I’ve cut way back.

Podcasts, in order of “importance” (154 total):

  1. Serialized Fiction (19)

    Basically, these are audiobooks, but released in podcast format. Or, they are audio drama style stories with a full cast, ambient sound, music, etc. Some are Complete, but I have not listened to them all the way (+). . .

    • Alice Isn’t Dead by NightValePresents
    • Archive 81 by Dead Signals
    • The Black Tapes by Pacific Northwest Stories (PNWS)
    • + The Byron Chronicles (C)
    • + Down from Ten (C)
    • + Interference by Eric Luke (C)
    • The Leviathan Chronicles by Christof Laputka
    • Limetown by Two-Up Productions
    • + Nina Kimberly the Merciless by Christiana Ellis (C)
    • The Raven and the Writing Desk / Metamor City by Chris Lester
    • + Rude Alchemy
    • + Sense Memory by Brion J. Humphrey (C)
    • + Star Trek: Lost Frontier by Darker Projects (C)
    • TANIS by Pacific Northwest Stories (PNWS)
    • + Tincture, a Weird West Trilogy by Matthew D. Jordan
    • Underwood and Flinch: A Vampire Novel by Mike Bennett (C)
    • Welcome to Night Vale by NightValePresents
    • + We’re Alive by KC Wayland
    • Within the Wires by NightValePresents
  2. Fiction (27)

    I have massive backlogs (+) of many of these, because I want to hear every episode from the beginning. Some of them go back as much as eight years. It will take a while. :) I tend to listen to these only while driving, because it’s too easy for my mind to wander otherwise, and I may miss large portions of the story and have to “rewind.” Crossed-out ones are either podfaded (iTunes no longer recognizes them) or on indefinite hiatus (still in iTunes, but no new episodes have been produced for a while). (CBS) Radio Mystery Theater is a special case. It’s a radio show from the 70s and 80s where they did dramatizations of spooky/mysterious stories, and all 1400 episodes can be downloaded . . . but there is a podcast that releases one per day (randomly).

    • +19 Nocturne Boulevard
    • Apex Magazine
    • + Beneath Ceaseless Skies
    • Cast of Wonders
    • + Clarkesworld Magazine
    • + Dark Fiction Magazine (Wordpunk)
    • + Dunesteef
    • Escape Pod
    • Fantasy Magazine
    • + Flash Pulp
    • Glittership
    • + Journey Into . . .
    • Knifepoint Horror
    • + Lightspeed Magazine
    • The Moonlit Road
    • Nature Extra: Futures
    • + Nightmare Magazine
    • Podcastle
    • + Protecting Project Pulp
    • Pseudopod
    • + (CBS) Radio Mystery Theater
    • + Serving Worlds
    • + Strange Horizons
    • Toasted Cake
    • + Variant Frequencies
    • + Voice of Free Planet X
    • + Wicked Library
  3. Fiction: Anthology (11)

    Again, I have massive backlogs (+) of most of these. I have a separate category because these bill themselves, generally, as “audio magazines” and will feature as many as 5 stories in one episode, so it takes a little more effort to work through one. They might take up two or three commutes, or half a trip to my mother’s house to listen to.

    • + Crime City Central
    • + Chilling Tales
    • + Drabblecast
    • + Far Fetched Fables
    • Kaleidocast
    • + Night Fears Horror
    • + NoSleep
    • + Seminar
    • + StarShipSofa
    • + Tales to Terrify
    • Uncanny Magazine
  4. Writing (25)

    I’m nursing a backlog (+) in a good many of these, and doling them out as I have time. Except The Secrets, which I keep around even though I’ve heard them all, just because they’re damned good and useful.

    • Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing
    • Artifexian
    • + The Author Biz
    • + AuthorCast / ThrillerCast
    • The Creative Penn
    • Crucible of Realms
    • + Dead Robots’ Society
    • Ditch Diggers
    • Early Draft
    • + Flash Pulp: Flash Cast
    • Hide and Create
    • I Should Be Writing
    • + The HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast
    • Mad Writers Union
    • + Narrative Breakdown
    • The Roundtable Podcast
    • SciFi Ideas
    • The Secrets Podcast for Writers
    • + SF Signal
    • SF Squeecast
    • + Social Media for Authors
    • The Taylor Stevens Show
    • Tea and Jeopardy
    • Unreliable Narrators
    • Writing Excuses
  5. Education (24)

    Most of these are daily or weekly, and short. I’ve caught up to most, but I have a backlog (B) in a couple because they’re much longer.

    • 60 Second Science
    • Aaron’s World
    • AstronomyCast
    • Books and Ideas
    • Experimental
    • + Freakonomics Radio
    • The History of English Podcast
    • Lexicon Valley
    • Math Mutation
    • NPR Politics Podcast
    • (QDT) Everyday Einstein’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Making Sense of Science
    • (QDT) Get-It-Done Guy’s Quick and Dirty Tips to Work Less and Do More
    • (QDT) Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing
    • (QDT) The House Call Doctor’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Taking Charge of Your Health
    • (QDT) The Math Dude’s Quick and Dirty Tips to Make Math Easier
    • (QDT) The Nutrition Diva’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Eating Well and Feeling Fabulous
    • (QDT) The Public Speaker’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Improving Your Communication Skills
    • (QDT) The Savvy Psychologist’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Mental Health
    • (QDT) Unknown History with Giles Milton
    • + Reasonably Sound
    • The Tolkien Professor (B)
    • A Way With Words
    • Word of the Day
    • You Are Not So Smart
  6. Entertainment (28)

    I don’t listen to every episode of the interview shows (I); just the ones where I actually know who the person is, and find them the least bit interesting. These are what I usually listen to at work when deep in CodeLand. I also have a backlog (+) in some.

    • 2 Dope Queens
    • + 99% Invisible (PRX)
    • The Allusionist (PRX)
    • Ask Me Another Podcast (NPR)
    • + Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything (PRX)
    • Cortex
    • Criminal (NPR)
    • Ear Biscuits (I)
    • + The Eclectic Review
    • + EphemRadio
    • Geologic Podcast
    • Girl on Guy with Aisha Tyler (I)
    • Hello Internet
    • Hidden Brain
    • How to Do Everything Podcast (NPR)
    • Invisibilia (NPR)
    • + Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show (I)
    • Lore
    • Mind of a Murderer
    • Radio Free Burrito
    • Radiolab (NPR)
    • Serial (NPR)
    • Seriously Strange
    • + Snap Judgment (NPR)
    • Sunday Puzzle Podcast (NPR)
    • + Sword and Scale
    • Think Again
    • Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me (NPR)
  7. Science (12)

    Once my main reason for even having an iPod, these have started to lose my interest. They generally preach to the choir. That being said, I have backlogs (B) of a couple of them that I’m working through, just to catch up to current. The rest I’m caught up on. These are consistently the biggest time-suck because each episode of all but three of them is an hour to ninety minutes in length.

    • AstronomyCast
    • Brain Science
    • Monster Talk
    • + Nature Podcast
    • Oh No Ross and Carrie
    • Science Talk
    • Scopes Monkey Choir
    • Skepticality
    • Skeptoid
    • The Skeptic Zone
    • The Skeptics Guide to the Universe
    • + Titanium Physicists
  8. Video (8)

    Only one of these is weekly (W). The rest are sporadic. I tend to watch whatever has accumulated about once per month. All but two (InFact and Scam School) are Space or Science related.

    • The Beautiful Universe: Chandra in HD
    • ESOCast HD
    • HD – NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
    • Hidden Universe HD: NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope
    • HubbleCast Full HD
    • InFact with Brian Dunning
    • NASA ScienceCasts
    • Scam School HD (W)

And that brings us to YouTube.

Sigh. I subscribe to 264 channels. They fit roughly into seven categories, shown below. Not all of them are daily or even weekly. Some are “faded,” but on YouTube, it’s sometimes hard to tell. For instance, ZeFrank was gone for years and then came back with a vengeance with little to no warning. Of that total, I’m only listing the ones below where I watch them “consistently.” Quotes are because I’m currently months behind on watching videos, because right after I posted the original version of this page, I realized I needed to back away, and did so. :)

  1. Comedy (12)

    This is a loose category. It’s basically the stuff that I think exists just for comedy, with no other purpose. This will become clearer later when we get to “Fun.”

    • Barely Productions
    • Batdad Blake
    • Convos With My 2-Year-Old
    • Explosm Entertainment
    • Fatawesome
    • Glove And Boots
    • Jason Farone
    • Mediocre Films
    • Mediocre Films 2
    • Ray William Johnson
    • Southern Women Channel
    • Tripp and Tyler
  2. Education (41)

    Even though these are all entertaining and fun, their primary purpose (as far as I am concerned) is to educate their audience.

    • Acapella Science
    • Acapella Science 2
    • Animal Wonders Montana
    • Artifexian
    • AsapSCIENCE
    • AsapTHOUGHT
    • Backstage Science
    • Best Of Science
    • Big Cat Rescue
    • Brady Stuff
    • BRIT LAB
    • CGP Grey
    • Computerphile
    • Crash Course
    • Deep Astronomy
    • Deep Sky Videos
    • Earth Unplugged
    • Funner Every Day
    • George Hart
    • IFL Science
    • It’s Okay To Be Smart
    • Kurz Gesagt
    • Metro Richmond Zoo
    • Minute Earth
    • Minute Physics
    • Nottingham Science
    • Numberphile
    • Numberphile 2
    • Periodic Videos
    • SciShow
    • SciShow Space
    • Sixty Symbols
    • Smarter Every Day
    • The Good Stuff
    • The Bad Astronomer
    • The Brain Scoop
    • Tom Scott
    • Veritasium
    • Vihart
    • Xidnaf
    • Zoo Atlanta
    • Zoo Borns
  3. Food (3)

    I admit it. I watch people on YouTube cook food. But only a very few. :)

    • Food Is Key (rarely)
    • RuleOfYum (weekly)
    • SORTED Food (dailyish)
  4. Friends (~8)

    Some of my friends have YouTube channels. I won’t mention them here, because . . . well, just because. But there are a few. All of them are infrequent updaters.

  5. Fun (46)

    A few of these are very science-y/informative, but I think their main goal is fun, not education. I could be wrong. But they’re my categories, so nyah. :) Also, a significant number of these almost never update.

    • Brad Gage
    • Captain Disillusion
    • Chris Hadfield
    • Corey Vidal
    • Dark Matter 2525
    • David Firth
    • George Hrab
    • Hello Internet
    • Henri Le Chat Noir
    • In 59 Seconds
    • Jeremiah McDonald
    • Jeremy Illustrates
    • Joanna Penn
    • Joe Penna
    • Kassem G
    • Mark Rober
    • Matthew Santoro
    • Mental Floss
    • Mister Deity
    • Mugumogu (aka Maru the cat)
    • Mystery Guitar Man
    • Paul and Storm
    • Pets Add Life
    • PTX Vlogs
    • Quirkology
    • Rhett & Link
    • Rob Dyke
    • Rob P Rocks
    • Science Friction
    • Simon’s Cat
    • SMP Films
    • smyke4me (comedian Paula Poundstone)
    • SUPERFRUIT
    • Talking Animals
    • The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
    • The Moth
    • The Muppets
    • The Slow Mo Guys
    • The Mean Kitty
    • Think Fact
    • This Exists
    • Vsauce
    • Vsauce 2
    • Vsauce 3
    • Welcome To Night Vale
    • Zefrank 1
  6. Music (72)

    The thing about the music channels is that they’re not updated very frequently (for the most part), and when they are, the videos are very seldom more than 5 minutes. So they’re like candy. :)

    • Accent Vocal
    • Alan Key 86
    • Andrew Huang
    • Andy Lange Music
    • Anna-Maria Hefele
    • AV Byte
    • Avi Kaplan
    • Basement Alchemy
    • Brett Domino
    • C-Bomb Music
    • Chase Holfelder
    • Chris Thompson
    • Collective Cadenza
    • Daniel Ferri
    • Dan Wright 32
    • David Choi
    • David LeDuc
    • Duwende Music
    • Eric Whitacre
    • Evynne Hollens
    • Forte Femme
    • Gerald Ko
    • Hasan Guitar
    • Home Free
    • Home Free Vocal Band
    • Iron Horse
    • J Rice
    • JB Craipeau
    • jibcraip
    • Justin Bryte
    • Justin Robinett
    • Kevin K.O. Olusola
    • Kevin Lien Music
    • Kurt Hugo Schneider
    • Kutiman
    • Lake Street Dive
    • Lance Bass
    • Luke Conard
    • Malu Fenix
    • Malukah
    • Melody Sheep
    • Nataly Dawn
    • Naya Marie 2009
    • N Bluhm
    • Nick Pitera
    • Night Argent
    • OK Go
    • Paint
    • Peter Hollens
    • Peter & Evynne Hollens
    • Pomplamoose
    • Pomplamoose Music
    • Postmodern Jukebox
    • Poupipou 23
    • PTX Official
    • Rob J Madin
    • Roc La Bete
    • DJ RozRoz
    • Ryan Narciso
    • Salut Salon
    • Sam Hollyman
    • Schmoyoho
    • SD Stever
    • Straight No Chaser
    • Teak Wood Gallows
    • The Gregory Brothers
    • The Overtones
    • The Piano Guys
    • The Sam Tsui
    • The Swingles
    • Vektor Music
    • Walk off the Earth
    • WeSauce
  7. Vlogs (a lot; 18)

    I’m only listing the ones that I watch “habitually.” I’m still subscribed to a lot more, but I just don’t watch them anymore, or get email notifications when they update. It turns out that there is only so much of hearing about other people’s lives that you can take. Who knew?

    • 2 Veritasium (randomly, infrequent)
    • Ashley Mardell (weekly)
    • Chester See (weekly, but in spurts)
    • Dude Like HELLA (dailyish)
    • Hank’s Channel (monthlyish)
    • James Chats (semiweekly)
    • James Chats TV (randomly, infrequent)
    • Laina (weekly)
    • Liz To Go (randomly, infrequent)
    • Mike MGTV (weekly, but in spurts)
    • Nathan And Rose (daily)
    • Paintchips (randomly)
    • Sound Proof Liz (semiweekly)
    • Steve Cash 83 (randomly)
    • Steve Cash Blog (rarely)
    • SupDaily06 (daily)
    • Vlog Brothers (semiweekly)
    • Wheezy Waiter (weekly, semiweekly, spurts)
  8. ASMR (8)

    It’s hard to explain. Look up ASMR. :)

    • ASMRGAINS
    • ASMRrequests
    • Deluca ASMR
    • Ephemeral Rift
    • FeatherBrainedASMR
    • GentleWhispering
    • Heather Feather
    • Paris ASMR

So that’s how I don’t write. How don’t you write? :)

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