The focus then was on podcasts that talked about my two fave topics — reading and writing.
Today, I want to focus on those that have guided my path as a man and a father these past few years, since taking the road less travelled to be a more stay-at-home and hands-on dad. These podcasts have helped fuel a lot of musings in my blog on gender roles and identity in this crazy world we live in.
Podcasts on masculinity
Ever stopped for a moment and asked yourself what defines manhood?
No? Well good for you. I’ve been doing that a lot these past four years. Ever since I stepped away from a regular pay check and into the wild wild world of uncertainty and loneliness as a stay home dad. It’s such a non-topic in my part of the world (Asia) that it can be difficult to find resources about manhood, and to talk openly about the unrealistic expectations society imposes on men!
So I find myself looking to the West instead where the culture of speaking up about potentially thorny issues is more prevalent. And specifically for me, in recent times, that has taken the form of podcasts that focuses on talking about masculinity.
One great resource has been The Art of Manliness helmed by host Brett McKay.
Called AOM for short, it aims to help us men become (yes it’s possible), better men. That’s according to the site’s bio.
Going by its more than 10 million monthly page views AND 155 million total podcast downloads, I guess few men-focused sites dare make as bold a claim as AOM does!
Don’t take my word for it. Here’s how AOM describes itself.
Synopsis from site:
Through in-depth interviews with authors and thinkers, host Brett McKay finds insights on how men can better understand their culture, their lives, and themselves, and recapture the ancient and classical ideal of manliness.
“Episodes explore how to live a life of both contemplation and action, while having some fun along the way. The show topics cover everything from history and philosophy, to social/professional skills, to parenting, to self-defense and physical training, to pop culture and literature.”
Podcasts on fatherhood
My other go-to topic is on (surprise surprise) parenting or, more specifically, fatherhood.
In a category all its own, I can’t tell you how important it is to find connections with other dads. To talk shop about all things to do with raising kids. Especially since talking isn’t a strong point my side of the world, especially when it comes to the nuts and bolts of fathering,
Arguably, the Judeo-Christian world offers the most plentiful and diverse resources (books, websites, podcasts), to fathers on how to parent well, and this podcast certainly helps cement my assertion of that.
So how have these help my writing?
What I love about these podcasts is the friendly yet insightful coverage they have of many diverse topics for men.
Art of Manliness podcast
From Brett’s AOM, I got to hear some really awesome guests who spoke volumes to me about my life, and the state of our world today. These include (but are in no way limited to):
— the art of being unproductive (award-winning journalist and author Celeste Headlee — Episode #602),
— making friends (Boston Globe reporter Billy Baker — Episode #702), and
— loneliness (current US Surgeon General Dr Vivek Murthy — Episode #618).
These topics have inspired me to blog about friendship issues and the serious matter of suicide. And with 700 over episodes — and counting — still to go, AOM’s going to keep feeding my mind and sending me to my keyboard til the good Lord returneth!
Dad Tired podcast
From Jerrad’s Dad Tired, I got to hear stuff that flooded my soul and filled up my spiritual tank on days it felt like I had no fuel left for life’s long, winding and arduous drive.
Inspiring guests like young widower Chris Hilken (Apr 11, 2022 episode) who shared his ongoing grief journey. One that sees him overcoming his grief of losing his wife last year, while caring for his five children, all under ten years of age.
Or sound advice from established Christian film maker Alex Kendrick — War Room, Courageous, and Show Me The Father. In a May 2020 episode, Kendrick shared ways fathers can be the best leader and mentor in the home.
These wonderful guests and many others gave me the nourishment I needed whenever I felt dry. They helped fill up my tank to navigate life’s road bumps. And they very likely were responsible for my resurgent interest in a specific creative writing form — poetry writing. Which has seen me pen more than 80 poems to date — and counting!
So yes podcasts really have been my “writing muse” in these ways. For more ways, pop by here next time ok?