Being a writer can be an enlightening, wonderful experience when you’re creating work that you love, but it can also be incredibly frustrating when you get writer’s block or are struggling to find inspiration. There are plenty of places on the web, however, where you can find inspiration and instruction to help you overcome your biggest obstacles or help you to see writing in a new light. Here are 100 videos just for writers, many from well-known authors offering their help and guidance.
Fiction Author Talks
These videos can inspire you through the work of other authors who’ve been through the same process you’re going through now to create their masterworks.
- Isaac Asimov on the Golden Age of Science Fiction: Listen as one of the most well-known science fiction authors discusses the peak of science fiction writing.
- Jack Kerouac Explains On the Road: If you want to better understand this classic piece of literature, watch this video.
- Will Self: Take a look at this video to hear a talk by English author Will Self delivered at Google.
- Interview with Philip Roth: This American Pulitzer Prize-winning author talks about writing and his work in this video.
- Sherman Alexie: See where author, poet and comedian Sherman Alexie finds his inspiration for his work here.
- Salman Rushdie on Charlie Rose: In this video you can hear an interview between famous author Rushdie and Charlie Rose.
- Haruki Murakami: Known for his often dream-like prose, this Japanese authors talks about his work, life and motivation in this video.
- Jhumpa Lahiri talks about The Interpreter of Maladies: In this video, you’ll hear more about the work that won this author a Pulitzer Prize.
- Maurice Sendak: Author, illustrator discusses his work: If you like children’s literature, you’ll appreciate this interview with the author of Where the Wild Things Are.
- Stephen King on Writing, Scary Stories, and More: As one of the most well-known names in writing, Stephen King has made a definitely place for himself in the literary world as well as popular culture. In this video, you’ll get his take on why he does what he does.
- Gore Vidal on writing: Gore Vidal is an American author, playwright, essayist, screenwriter and political activist perhaps best known for his work The City and the Pillar. Take a look at this video to get his insights on the writing process.
- Amy Tan – Finding Meaning through Writing: While most people know Tan’s name from the movie made from her book The Joy Luck Club, Tan has written numerous fictional and non-fictional works. In this video she discusses how she finds meaning in what she does and what offers her inspiration.
- Big Thinkers – Douglas Adams: Often regarded as one of the best humor writers, in this video Adams talks about his life and his work.
- Interview with Author Yann Martel: Learn more about the motivations behind this author’s work, The Life of Pi, in this video.
Non-Fiction Author Talks
If non-fiction is more your style, then you can find some inspiration in these talks given by non-fiction authors about their work and their motivation for creating it.
- Martin Amis Talks About Tony Blair: Check out this video to hear author Martin Amis discuss some interesting observations about Tony Blair.
- Nicholson Baker: Here you can see writer Baker talk to Charlie Rose about gorilla killings in Virunga National Park, Congo.
- Taylor Branch: The Clinton Tapes: Taylor Branch discusses the diaries that helped created one of the most complete records of a presidency in this lecture.
- Kay Redfield Jameson: Nothing Was the Same: You can get inspiration on writing from your life experiences in this lecture from Kay Redfield Jameson.
- Writing Political Satire in the 21st Century: This talk will address some of the issues that go along with writing satire in places all around the world.
- Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language: This MIT lecture will help you understand the finer points that go into constructing language.
- Authors@Google: Peter Schiff: In this video, author Peter Schiff discusses his book Crash Proof: How to Profit from the Coming Economic Collapse.
- Naomi Wolf Celebrated Author of "The End of America": If you want a more feminist perspective, check out this video.
- "Marley and Me" Explained by Author John Grogan: Hear this author explain the events in his life that led to the writing of this memoir about a beloved family pet.
- Richard Dawkins – The Selfish Gene – Meet the author: Listen to this video from noted biologic theorist Richard Dawkins.
- Frank McCourt – Writing About Poverty: Frank McCourt won a Pulitzer Prize in 1997 for his memoir Angela’s Ashes, and in this video you can hear about what inspired him to write about poverty.
Journalism and Media
If you are hoping to make a break into journalism, try watching these videos for motivation.
- When Doctors are Writers: Listen to this video to hear some of the challenges for doctors who write and the reasons they should continue to do so.
- Fifty Years in Media: Changes in Journalism: Hear how the journalism industry has changed over the past decades in this lecture series from Harvard.
- Principles of Good Journalism: Learn what elements should be central to your journalistic writing from this video.
- The Quality of the Written Word: This video addresses the unique quality of the written word and the efforts of many newspapers to maintain it.
- A Conversation with David Remnick: In this video you can hear from journalist and writer for the New Yorker David Remnick.
- Vinod Mehta on reading and the craft of writing: Editor-in-Chief of the Indian weekly magazine Outlook, Mehta shares his advice for writers.
Improve the quality of your verse and get inspired by other great poets in these videos.
- Poetry and Perception: Here you can hear about Susan Stewart’s idea that poetry is a "slow art."
- Chris Abani muses on humanity: Nigerian poet Chris Abani talks about compassion and humanity in this TED lecture.
- Poetry at Noon: Susan Bullock: Listen to this moving poetry reading from Susan Bullock in this video.
- Robert Hass, Poetry Reading: Here, Robert Hass reads some of his poems at Princeton University.
- How to Write a Romantic Love Poem: Want to create a poem that will have your crush or loved one in tears? This video can help.
- Bridgette Kriner reads her poetry: Watch this video to hear some of the work of Bridgette Kriner.
- Poetry Interpretation: Want to get a leg up on understanding how your work might be perceived? This video can teach you.
- Geof Hewitt’s Guide to Poetry Slam: If you’ve ever wanted to try this art form, learn how to do so from this video.
Screenplays and Drama
Whether you want to write the next blockbuster movie or sold-out play, these videos offer advice and help to get you there.
- How to Write a Play: Learn the basics of how to put together a play from this video.
- Writing Your First Movie Script: If you’re trying to tackle writing a movie script for the first time, this video, and others in the series, offer advice.
- Drama Workshop: Script Writing: Get a great tutorial on writing a script here.
- Writing A Great Script Fast In A Nutshell: If you need to pull together a script in a hurry, this video offers some pointers.
- Writing Your Own Script for an Independent Film: Those who are part of an independent film team can learn to create moving scripts from this video.
- How to Write a Screenplay : How to Start a Screenplay: You have to start at the start, and this video will explain how to go about doing that.
These videos will show you new ways to approach old stories, inspire you with talks on beloved authors and even make you laugh at the misadventures of some of the best known writers in the world.
- Beowulf: Get an interesting take on this centuries-old epic tale here.
- The Pardoner’s Tale: Watch this video to see an interpretation on this Chaucer classic.
- The Raven: If you love the Simpsons and Poe, you’ll appreciate this fun take on the well-known poem.
- Don Quixote: This video offers a beautiful version of this Spanish story.
- Tribute to John Updike: Here you can hear about the life and work of renowned author John Updike.
- Truth or Fail!: Literature Edition: Take a few minutes to watch this video and learn about the lives of famous authors.
Advice from Authors
Who better to get writing advice and guidance from than writers themselves? These videos offer just that.
- Ray Bradbury on Writing: Check out this video from renowned author Ray Bradbury as he delivers his advice for young writers.
- Ray Bradbury on Writing Persistently: Not everything you create will be an instant success, and as Bradbury points out here, persistence pays off.
- John Irving on the Writer’s Craft: Get advice on writing and publishing from John Irving in this short video.
- Advice for young writers from Neil Gaiman: Sometimes you just have to write, as this video advises.
- Inspiring Advice from Authors: This video collects advice from several authors on what it takes to be a successful writer.
- Advice from Stephen King: In this question and answer segment, King offers his advice on what he thinks young people should do to be successful writers.
- Garrison Keillor: Finding your voice as a writer: In this short video, you’ll hear some advice on finding your own point of view in your writing.
- Reading History and Writing Fiction: Here, Penelope Lively discusses what a difference reading history can make in the work of an author.
- Writing a Novel: Cory Doctorow offers his advice to writers as well as shares his process and favorite tools in this video.
- Joyce Carol Oates on Character: Watch this video to get some great tips on creating memorable and believable characters.
- Vonnegut Advice: Short Stories: Here you can see a video collection of Vonnegut’s now-famous tips for writers.
- Michael Eric Dyson & George Weigel on Writing: Give this video a try to see what these two authors do as part of their writing process. Who knows, it might work for you too.
These videos will help you embrace and foster your creative side.
- Amy Tan on Creativity: Here Amy Tan talks about how her creative process evolved.
- Elizabeth Gilbert on Creativity: Learn why we all have a little genius in us from this inspiring video.
- The Writer: This funny (and NSFW) video shows what inspires and motivates science fiction writer Lucas Reed.
- Monty Python Talks About… Writing: While Monty Python’s writing might seem effortless, Eric Idle shares stories about the difficulties of working collaboratively.
- Writing Fiction & Poetry : How to Generate Short Story Ideas: Check out this video to get some tips on coming up with good ideas for stories.
- Edward de Bono on creative thinking: This video will inspire you to think outside of the box when it comes to writing.
- Bob Moresco of Crash on Writers Block: Learn what this writer does when writer’s block strikes in this video.
- 3 Step Formula for Creative Success: Follow these steps to find a way to open yourself up to creativity.
- Consciousness, Creativity and the Brain: Famous director David Lynch and professor of quantum physics John Hagelin talk about the creative process in this video.
- Toni Morrison Talks About Her Motivation For Writing: Watch this video to find out what inspires this well-known author to write her works.
- Creative Writing Masterclass 1: Ideas & Inspiration: Get some fresh ideas on where to come up with your own motivation and ideas in this video.
- Writer’s Block: This video will give you some tips on battling writer’s block.
Check out these videos to review the essentials of good writing.
- How to Become a Writer: Learn how to start out your career as a writer from this video.
- Novel Writing Made Easy: For many, the thought of writing a novel seems overwhelming, but this video helps put it into perspective.
- On Writing: This video breaks down writing a novel to the absolute basics in a humorous way.
- Writing Fiction Lesson 101: Get an introductory lesson on the essentials of good fiction writing here.
- Spice Up Your Writing! Write to Entice: Learn how you can make your writing more engaging for the reader here.
- Book Writing: Here, Chris Pirillo offers some tips on writing a good computer book without incurring the wrath of critics.
- Easy Tips to Improve Your Writing: Watch this video to get some great pointers on improving what you’re producing.
- How to Edit Your Writing: This video will teach you how to go back and tweak what you’ve written until it’s perfect.
- Janet Angelillo: Revision Is Not Punishment: While intended for writing teachers, this video is still full of great advice for writers as well.
Most writers are working with the aim of getting published, and these videos offer information on how to best make that happen.
- Publishing Advice for Writers: If you’re struggling to get your work recognized, you may want to give this video a listen for helpful advice.
- Internet Marketing for Writers: Check out this informative video to become an expert at marketing your work online.
- Book Trailers for Authors: Learn how creating a book trailer could help you sell your book.
- How to Become a Freelance Writer: If you want to write on spec, this video will explain the best way to go about getting jobs.
- How to Write & Publish a Non Fiction Book: If you’re a non-fiction writer, you can find some helpful tips here on getting your work out there.
- Novel Writing Tools: Learn about some great tech tools that can help you write from this video.
- How to Become a Professional Writer: This video offers a guide to working as a professional writer.
- Book Launch 2.0: Take a look at this satire to see the perils of modern day publishing.
- A Day in the Life of a Writer: This humorous video shows what it’s really like to be a writer.
- Gaining Self-Confidence to Write & Publish a Book: Many people never finish writing a book, or never even start, because they believe they don’t have the talent. This video explains how to overcome those negative thoughts.
- Three things that helped me finish my novel: Learn what things might motivate you to finally finish your work from this video.
- Advice From A Literary Agent: Even if you don’t have your own literary agent, you can get advice from one here.
These videos focus on a range of different writing topics for any unanswered concerns you may have.
- The Writing of Fantasy: Get a few pointers on how to write great fantasy work here.
- Writing Fiction and Non-fiction: Here you can learn some ways to go about writing both fiction and non-fiction.
- Kurt Vonnegut and Joyce Carol Oates at The Connecticut Forum: Take a moment to watch this video on censorship to get some great commentary from two legendary writers.