Make an Impact by Writing Op-Eds with Princella Talley: Podcast Ep. 296

Make an Impact by Writing Op-Eds with Princella Talley: Podcast Ep. 296 | Speaking Your Brand

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On the podcast this month, we’re exploring different ways you can channel using your voice and building your thought leadership platform.

In this episode, we’re diving into the impact and legacy you can have by writing op-eds.

Did you know that most op-eds are only 650-850 words in length? You can do this!

My guest is Princella Talley, who is a writer and speaker. In 2020, she was selected as a Public Voices Fellow of the OpEd Project and the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

Princella and I talk about:

  • The purpose of op-eds and why you would want to write one
  • How Princella got into writing op-eds
  • The elements that go into a good op-ed
  • Two impactful op-eds she has written and the power of vulnerability and truth telling
  • Handling backlash, sexism, and racism as a woman with a public voice
  • What The OpEd Project is

 

 

About My Guest: Princella Talley dived headfirst into her craft at age six when she would clip images out of magazines and paste them into her notebook as inspiration to create new stories. She won her first writing contest at 12 years young but couldn’t claim her prize because she was under 18. Today, with over 15 years of experience, Princella has built an impressive resume as a writer, ghostwriter, and editor. Princella’s writing portfolio includes an array of content from magazines, initiatives, and companies. She has been a columnist for a variety of outlets including CBS Las Vegas and Las Vegas’ Guardian Liberty Voice and was contracted as an assistant editor by publications in the United States, South America, and throughout the Caribbean islands. In addition, she has conducted numerous celebrity interviews and worked on Grammy campaigns for award-winning artists.  She has also written and published works on climate change and social entrepreneurship, ecotourism, and the role of AI in environmental conservation. 

In 2020, she was selected as a Public Voices Fellow of the OpEd Project and the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. During the course of her fellowship year, her op-ed pieces and commentary were published in Grist, The Hill, Zora, World War Zero, The Urbanist, The Progressive, The Sacramento Bee, Quad City Times, Hawaii Tribune Herald, Killeen Daily Herald, The Chronicle, Herald News, Bangor Daily News, Merced Sun-Star,Times Herald-Record (Catskills Edition), Newsbug, and the Marietta Daily Journal.

About Us: The Speaking Your Brand podcast is hosted by Carol Cox. At Speaking Your Brand, we help women entrepreneurs and professionals clarify their brand message and story, create their signature talks, and develop their thought leadership platforms. Our mission is to get more women in positions of influence and power because it’s through women’s stories, voices, and visibility that we challenge the status quo and change existing systems. Check out our coaching programs at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com

 

Links:

Show notes at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/296/

Princella’s website: https://www.princella-talley.com/

Princella’s op-ed after the overturning of Roe v. Wade: https://inthesetimes.com/article/black-women-abortion-ban-roe-louisiana-universal-healthcare 

The Op-Ed Project: https://www.theopedproject.org/ 

Discover your Speaker Archetype by taking our free quiz: https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/quiz/ 

Apply for our Thought Leader Academy: https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/academy/ 

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296-SYB-Princella-Talley.mp3: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

296-SYB-Princella-Talley.mp3: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Carol Cox:
Have you ever thought about writing an op ed? Well, you should listen to my conversation with Princella Talley to learn what you need to do on this episode of The Speaking Your Brand podcast. More and more women are making an impact by starting businesses running for office and speaking up for what matters. With my background as a TV political analyst, entrepreneur and speaker, I interview and coach purpose driven women to shape their brands, grow their companies, and become recognized as influencers in their field. This is Speaking Your Brand, your place to learn how to persuasively communicate your message to your audience. Hi there. Welcome to the Speaking Your Brand podcast. I’m your host Carol Cox. On the podcast this month, we’re exploring different ways you can channel using your voice and building your thought leadership platform. In this episode, we’re diving into the impact and legacy you can have by writing op eds. Now, I know since you’re a listener, that you probably enjoy public speaking. Maybe you like to write, maybe you don’t. But did you know that most op eds are only 650 to 850 words in length? We’re talking less than 1000 words. You can definitely do this. And this is part of building your thought leadership platform. My guest is Princella Tarly, who was a writer and speaker in 2020. She was selected as a Public Voices Fellow of the OP Ed Project and the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. Princella has written a number of op eds on climate change, as well as other issues which we get into in our conversation. We talk about the purpose of op eds and why you would want to write one, how Princella got into writing op eds herself, the elements that go into a good op ed and she when she lists them, they’re so helpful.

Carol Cox:
Things like starting conversations, having a specific angle and making sure that you also include a solution or a call to action if it’s appropriate. Princella shares with us two impactful op eds that she has written and the power she has seen of vulnerability, storytelling and truth telling. And then I also ask Princella to tell us a little bit more about the op ed project and how we can get involved in it. If we want to learn more about how to write and have our op eds published. I know you’re going to enjoy this conversation so much. Princella and I actually originally connected on Twitter. We kind of found each other on Twitter. I saw her Twitter bio and what she does, and I knew that I needed to invite her on the podcast because we haven’t specifically talked about writing op eds. We did an episode about book writing back at the end of 2021, so in December 2021. But this is the first one we’ve done specifically about writing op eds. I encourage you to consider doing it, whether it’s for your local newspaper or for a national publication. If you’re new to Speaking Your Brand, welcome. We work with women entrepreneurs and professionals to clarify their brand, message and story, create their signature talks, and develop their thought leadership platforms. Our mission is to get more women and specifically more diverse progressive women in positions of influence and power, because we know it’s through women’s stories, voices and visibility, including through op eds, as well as public speaking, that we challenge the status quo and change existing systems. You can learn more about what we do and how we can work together by going to Speaking Your Brand. Now let’s get on with the show. Welcome to the podcast, Princella.

Princella Talley:
All right.

Carol Cox:
I am so happy that you are here because we’re going to talk about the power of writing op eds, to use your voice to advocate for a cause or an issue that you care about. And we haven’t specifically talked about this on the Speaking Your Brand podcast. We’ve talked about the power of writing books. And of course, a book length writing is much different than short form writing, which is what op eds are. So op eds kind of occupy a particular place in writing and then using your voice. So I’m excited to dig into that with you today. So Princella, before we get into the specifics, let’s first define what exactly is an op ed.

Princella Talley:
So an op ed is an opinion editorial. And what that is, is that you bringing your unique voice to current issues?

Carol Cox:
I think about it in newspapers. So whether it’s the local newspaper, I live in Orlando, Florida, sort of be the Orlando Sentinel or it could be The New York Times or The Washington Post or more national newspapers. Is that the case? Is there also magazines that print op eds or letters to the editor different than op eds?

Princella Talley:
Letters to the editor are different, and it will depend on the publication. Some publications will take longer letter to the editor and op eds are typically more long form, and that letter to the editor is going to be shorter and more succinct. So you’re thinking about, I’d say between 650 to 850 words is a good word count for an op ed and you’re going to get that piece featured in a different spot, then your letter to the editor.

Carol Cox:
Okay. So we’re going to talk about how to go about writing an op ed than actually submitting it for the opportunity to get it published. But before we get into that, Princella, let me back up a little bit and ask you, how did you get involved in writing op eds? Because I know you’ve written a number of them and high profile places. You also are part of the op ed project, which we’ll talk. Talk about it a little bit as well. So how did you get into writing op eds? What drew you into that?

Princella Talley:
So I love sharing this story. I got into writing op eds because I actually had applied for a first year fellowship on the climate crisis, and that was through the op ed project and the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. And so the op ed project is now where I work. It’s like the universe always seems to know it’s doing. But I had already been writing and editing, but in a much different world of ghostwriting and entertainment writing. So my writing was a lot more safe. I would say it was safe, it was fun and pretty fluffy stuff, and it was actually really scary for me to enter into the writing world with my own voice and talk about these big and uncomfortable issues. So when I was selected as part of that cohort to learn more about writing op eds, I took that leap and that was how I got started. And it was just it was so much that was different about it. I mean, the writing style was different. The way you talk to editors were different, and everything just felt brand new again. And I’ll never regret doing that.

Carol Cox:
And Princella, I know that you write a lot about climate change, that that is that is the issue that I see a lot on on your website. As far as all the different writings and op ed that you’ve done, what drew you to climate change as the issue, the cause that you are focused on?

Princella Talley:
The way I ended up writing specifically about climate change and op eds goes back to when I was ghostwriting. So I actually had to research writing about climate change and the supply chain. And I was like, okay, what does this even mean? So I started looking at it and just doing the research and I was like, Whoa, whoa, this is affecting me. This is affecting everyone in the world and in the community I grew up in. Almost everyone had asthma. To me, I thought that was normal. I thought living by a plant and just smoking. I thought all these things, even the sense we’re just normal. And I came to realize from doing that research that there was a much bigger world out there that I needed to explore and that I could be active in so that other folks could gain that knowledge to from communities like where I came from.

Carol Cox:
And Princella, you live in Louisiana, and is that where you grew up?

Princella Talley:
Yes, I grew up in Haynesville, Louisiana. It’s it’s about three and a half hours from New Orleans. I’m smack dab in the middle of the state. And I’ve also lived in Las Vegas and Virginia. So it kind of bounced around a bit. But Louisiana is.

Carol Cox:
Let’s talk more about kind of op eds and what makes a good op ed. So imagine that we’re sitting down to write one. Or those of you who are listening, you have something that you really kind of get you get riled up about. Maybe something’s going on in the news or you see something in your community and you feel like you really want to contribute your voice to this. What makes a good op ed?

Princella Talley:
Oh, that is spicy. So a good op ed is to me, it’s one that makes you think about these hot topics in the world or even the ordinary in a brand new way. And it starts conversations that lead to real outcomes. So I think when you start taking your words and you’re using them to help people fill in the gaps as they’re seeking representation or as they’re seeking solutions to a problem, even if you never know it, you’re creating a profound legacy. And I think that’s what a good obit does. And I think on a personal level, it can be really life changing. One of my favorite writing tips for a good op ed is remembering that you can’t solve all the world’s problems in one op ed. You have to really hone in one angle related to that issue. You know, one cause that argument you’re fighting for and you drill down on the specifics of that argument. So it’s like if I say, okay, climate change, it’s affecting people all over the earth in various ways and something needs to be done about it. So that’s just me shouting into the echo chamber. We know that. And now if I say, well, climate change is affecting women here in Louisiana, here’s what we can do about it on a community level. Also, here are policy solutions that can help. That’s really going to hit differently. So that’s one tip.

Carol Cox:
That is really helpful, Princella And reminds me also of good storytelling, whether we’re doing public speaking or we’re doing writing. And I always think of this quote by the author, Sue Monk Kidd, and she said, I’m paraphrasing here, the deeper we go into our personal experience, the more we hit the universal experience. And I know that so often as thought leaders, that speakers as writers, we sometimes feel like if we’re more generic or generalized, then the audience will get it more or relate to it more. But I have found it’s the opposite. The more specific we are, the more detailed about one particular story, one particular situation. That’s what draws the audience in, whether it’s through listening or through reading.

Princella Talley:
Absolutely. And another thing, adding on to what you said with the specifics, if your op ed is the solution and a call to action, then your argument around that it has to have that specificity. So what is this about? If you can’t sum it up easily when someone asks you what the. Is about. Maybe your outfit isn’t ready.

Carol Cox:
Yet and do all OP Ed’s need to have a solution and a call to action in them?

Princella Talley:
They should. But I mean, sometimes things are more nuanced than that. It depends on on the angle and the story you’re telling. Sometimes a person just needs to tell a story from their lived experience, and that can lead other people to read the story and say, Hey, we can help you find a solution to this because you’ve pointed out a serious problem and people are around who can help you to fix those problems. Sometimes they just need to know you exist and your writing and your op ed can help them to know you’re out there.

Carol Cox:
Okay. So let’s imagine now we’ve we’ve found the cause, the issue we want to write an op ed about. We’ve done our draft. We think it’s pretty good. So now we’re ready to submit it. What is the process to go around submitting it? Well, I’m sure it’s very different from a local newspaper versus, say, the New York Times.

Princella Talley:
Well, it’s different, yes. But in a few ways it’s actually the same. So maybe there’s a form you can do a bit of online searching and try to find out who the editors are, if they’re not mentioned specifically. But there’s usually a pitch section that you can go to or you can even Google pitch this publication and see what comes up. And when you do that, you just reach out to the editor. You reach out with your piece or your idea based on what their pitch guidelines are. But a tip I’d give here is that rejection rejection is just it’s just another part of the game. And it’s not personal. I mean, it can be triggering, but it doesn’t make you a horrible writer. It doesn’t mean that no one likes you or what you have to say. You just keep going. Because once you start getting into that world of pitching, you start to realize every note is one step closer to a yes. And that’s for everything in life. I think for the most part, I mean, even me, I feel like, oh, well, I submitted this op ed and the person told me no or they didn’t respond well. And if they didn’t respond, I would be like, Oh, I want to stop. When I first got into this world, maybe I’m not ready, maybe I’m not any good, but that wasn’t the case. Now I look at it and I say, Well, if someone tells me no, then I pique their interest enough to read it and to get back to me. So that’s a foot in the door. And if I take it that way and I see the positives, eventually that piece will get picked up. And if it doesn’t get picked up, then what did I do? I probably rob somebody of the representation they needed to get an important message out there.

Carol Cox:
Yeah. And I like that point, Princella, that at least if you hear back from the person, even if it’s a no, they were paying attention versus the crickets of the no response, which I’m sure happens quite a bit, especially the bigger publications. They probably get lots of submissions but I love your point is keep going is don’t take it personally. You never know why they didn’t choose your op ed. They could have another one very similar or similar angle that they just said yes to the day before. And maybe yours is just not quite the right fit. And I and I hear this a lot from the woman we work with who are public speakers. They submit to speak at conferences or at TED talks, and sometimes they don’t get selected. I always tell them, doesn’t mean that you’re not a great speaker or your topic isn’t good. It’s just that they have to curate the different speakers and topics and you just may not have fit in to the way that they were curating that particular event.

Princella Talley:
And that’s another thing, their editorial calendar, we don’t know what was already lined up there and maybe that piece could have fit, but it was just already jammed in the calendar and they had passed.

Carol Cox:
Exactly. Yeah. So keep going. Keep trying.

Princella Talley:
Do not stop.

Carol Cox:
All right. And so. Well, Princella, let me ask you, if we if we think about you mentioned earlier about the power of op eds, is starting conversations, offering potential solutions, drawing attention to an issue that you care about? And so what is an impactful op ed that you’ve written that you really feel like, wow, either it was impactful to you in the sense that you feel really validated having written it and or impactful in the sense that it had a lot of legs like it got a lot of traction when it was published.

Princella Talley:
So this will actually circle back to your point about everything having a solution. The piece that I published that technically was not an op ed, it was a bit of a personal horror story, but it was really impactful. And if I could kind of play with this question a little bit, I have two examples, if that’s.

Carol Cox:
Okay.

Princella Talley:
Please. Okay. Sure. So in 2020, when COVID was still a newer thing and there wasn’t much known about it, and there still isn’t in many ways. But I ended up at the hospital. I was having these really bad heart palpitations. And so the first thing that I was told when I went to the emergency room was, Oh, you’re probably just overreacting that anxiety, but I never had anything like that happen before, so I knew that that wasn’t true. So when they finally decided to run test because my heart rate was still really elevated, there’s so many different things happening to my nervous system at once. It gets to a point. To sum it up, I needed to get IVs and because I have like smaller rolling veins, which is fair, they attempted to to stick me and it ended up that they stuck me nine times even when I asked them to stop after the third and. During that situation, I was actually just frozen most of the time. I couldn’t I couldn’t advocate for myself. I couldn’t I couldn’t. It was like a on fright. But I’d never envisioned myself being in that situation in a place that was supposed to be safe. So I get home and by the time it’s all over, I just cried in my arms. They were bruised so deeply that I actually had to rely on tattoos to cover up some of the bruising that never went away. So I actually have a sleeve and it all goes back to something that happened at the hospital. So when I get home from the hospital, I’m laying there. It’s the same night and I just woke up from like this fog and I was like, Wait a minute, this really happened.

Princella Talley:
I started writing it in my phone as an iPhone note, and when I did that, I posted it on Medium. And honestly, the writing was mediocre at best, but the story captured people’s attention. And when I wrote that story, it was curated by Medium and it reached so many people. Women from all over the world started contacting me and they were telling me things like, This happened to me too, and this happened during my pregnancy, or something similar happened to me and I’ve never said anything about it. And one woman, she said to me, she said, I don’t know you, but I’m writing you to tell you this because you’ll believe me. And I was like, Wow, it’s just so often that we’re just not believe for these things. There’s just swept away. And then that same article, it resulted in a training program for people who worked at the hospital. So then we circle back around now to the overturn of Roe v Wade. And that happened on my birthday. And going into my second, I’d say most impactful article was an op ed that was published by In These Times recently, and it was about how that overturn is going to have such a negative effect on black women in our state and the need for universal health care. But I wrote that because I was thinking about what had happened to me, even without having those sort of complications and just ending up in a medical situation where a woman just wouldn’t be believed or couldn’t advocate for herself. So I just stopped what I was doing on my birthday and I wrote that and I knew because of the bigger names that I mentioned, that it would draw a lot of criticism, but I didn’t hold back and I think that was what was most impactful about it.

Princella Talley:
I’ve stopped holding back. I say what I have to say respectfully. I write what I have to write respectfully. And I know that sometimes when I do that, there will be a lot of consequences. And, you know, I’ve heard from people who are happy about it, but I also heard from some people who were really unhappy. And I won’t really cover it up and say, once you write up is and put your position out there, it’ll be great. Sometimes it’ll be scary and sometimes negative things will come of it, you know. And this woman, she told me, she said, Well, you know, people like you, well, we need to have another civil war. You know, people actually have these sorts of reactions to you. We live in a really divisive time. And I really want people to know it’s important to protect yourself, protect your energy, even as you’re doing this type of work and you’re writing out this because everything won’t be positive. But, you know, it’s more about there’s a type of understated violence out there and it’s all over the place. And it’s so pervasive in our society that anything you do for the public, as long as you have a strong stance and as long as you know that what you do is not going to be easy, but it’s always going to be worth it, then you’re in your purpose and it can take you into that purpose. So those are my two examples.

Carol Cox:
Wow. Princella, well, thank you so much for sharing both of those. Wow. I’m so much so much to to add into and to validate what you said. So, first of all, with the story of you being in the hospital and that experience that you had and I know I’ve heard from friends and colleagues, women, especially black women who have similar experiences as well. And so it never gets talked about, or at least not in a in a public enough way where other people find it. So I’m grateful for you doing that, because go back to that quote from someone, kid. The more we go into our individual experience, the more we hit the universal experience by sharing that. And then the other thing is about the op ed that you published when Roe v Wade was overturned, that decision came down that day. I was like numb, like, you know, obviously we knew what was coming because the leak had happened. But I was just numb, sad, like distraught. And I didn’t have the energy as fuel yet to channel that into something productive. Right. I just it just wasn’t there yet. So I am grateful for you and for other women like you who did have that energy right away. It was like channel it into something like an op ed and I’m going to make sure to link to that particular one in the show notes for this episode so that listeners can go and read that as well.

Carol Cox:
And then the final thing I’ll say, as far as the point about getting the backlash and the criticism for sure, as women and especially I know as black women and women of color online, so much criticism and sexism and misogyny. I’ve been a. Been a political analyst on TV news for over 15 years. Every time I go on, I hear it from the trolls all the time. And I will say that the things that I have learned and you’ve probably learned this too, is first, don’t read the comments. Like Just don’t read it, don’t look at it. It’s not going to do you any good. Anything that’s positive, you just assume that the positive is out there, because if you read the negative, it’s going to stick in your mind no matter if you wanted to or not. And I have found just having that support system of like my friends or people close to me to be like, okay, like I’m doing this, I’m putting myself out there. I know they have my back and I know that they love me and support me no matter what else is going on. But it’s true because women using their voice, especially in political positions, is very much unwanted in our patriarchal society.

Princella Talley:
Absolutely. And you know, what shocked me was I don’t read comics either. So when I get these things through my website, I’m like, oh, so like someone actually took the time to find me to tell me this. And because I’m still adjusting and processing that as an ongoing reality, I just feel like it is an important conversation to keep having. But we have to think about it too. I think in that more positive way you may not see the immediate impact of something you say, but you have impacted someone and you could be helping someone and you never know. Like, I can’t speak for everybody, no one can, but I can be a representative for somebody. And I think that line sometimes can get blurry. But if you walk it with accountability as best you can, then we’ll be okay.

Carol Cox:
All right. So I mentioned earlier on that you’ve been involved with the op ed project, and I’ll make sure also to include a link to them in the show notes. And so I and I love that on their website right there, main headline says The op ed project’s mission is to change Who Writes History. Now, I have a master’s degree in history. I love history. So I’m all about who writes history and who shows up in history. Because for so long, very few people other than white men showed up in history. And that’s starting to change now. So, Princella, tell us what exactly is the op ed project and is it something that listeners can get involved in?

Princella Talley:
It is something listeners can get involved in. So, yes, it’s about writing and op eds, but it’s about so much more than that. It’s really about shifting the dynamic of who we consider to have knowledge and authority in public discourse and in these bigger conversations. So the focus areas are always centered on justice. They do have initiatives from the climate crisis, which, you know, there’s folks like me who got involved with the op ed project that gender justice and a variety of other variety of other focus areas that you can learn about. And if you visit the website, you’ll see that there are workshops you can register for public workshops, right to change the world. There’s programs that universities and partners can get involved in. So I would suggest to learn more about it, reach out. You can contact me. I can put you in, in touch with our partnerships person or public engagements person to tell you more about the workshops. But it’s, it’s really an experience. And had I never worked here, I would still say this. The op ed project has changed my life an incredible ways because it made me think about myself, not just as a writer, but as an influencer, even when I thought my voice was barely even heard. And I would hope for everyone to have that experience.

Carol Cox:
I love that. Thank you. All right, Princella. So in addition to writing, I know you also do public speaking. And so tell me a little bit about the types of public speaking you do, the topics that you like to speak about and what do you enjoy about being a speaker versus a writer?

Princella Talley:
I think I’m not I’ve never been a person who likes to be in the limelight, even coming from theater. I never want to be the star of the show. But at the same time, what I like about public speaking is that it’s forced me to realize things are so much bigger than me. I’m usually speaking about climate change, but even when I’m speaking just about creativity or life as a writer, it’s not about me. And knowing that that purpose is much bigger than my flaws, or like no one cares about the piece of hair that was out of place. You know, people are hearing what you have to say for a bigger reason. And if they can see a little bit of themselves in me and see their own purpose, then I’ve been successful. That and that’s what I love about public speaking. I feel like it helps to create like a bright spot for someone else to see themselves in the world in a new way. And I like that feeling, too, you know, that feeling you get in your stomach kind of feels like nervousness right before you speak. Like I actually have it right now. But that feeling is because you want to do well. You want your message to translate well. But even if you’re the most prepared, I think you still have that feeling. And I don’t think it’s just nervousness. I think it’s excitement and it’s kind of like that famous hack. Whenever you feel nervous about something, let’s say I’m nervous. I’m nervous to say I am excited because really you are.

Carol Cox:
Yes, I completely agree. It really is adrenaline. And so if you just think of adrenalin as the thing that gives you energy and excitement, that’s that’s the way that I choose to reframe it to.

Princella Talley:
Yeah. I mean, I think the first time I publicly spoke, I, I was pushed out into a room very respectfully. I knew what I was getting myself into. But it wasn’t until I was on the stage from zero people to 1200 people that I was like, Oh, you know, like, what are the things I can do to be good at this? Like, do I look at the light? Do I focus on one person and their facial expression? You’d heard all these tips about how to be a good speaker, but then it hit me. I can actually just be me. I’m just having a conversation. And yes, it’s a meaningful and productive conversation. But there are no rules and confines to being yourself and translating an important message at the same time.

Carol Cox:
All right. So then thinking about both speaking and a writing and anything else you have going on, what’s on the horizon for you? What are you working on or what are you excited about in the next, let’s say, 3 to 6 months?

Princella Talley:
So I am hoping for more moments like this, moments where I can have good, open conversations that allow me to reflect but also to add value to other people’s lives. And I want to get back to the basics in a way. So I think I’ve gotten to a point as a writer where more so, I’m writing for audiences who have honestly the conveniences, to have a lot of these discussions about social inequities and climate change. But there are so many people who still have front door issues or are just trying to make it. And I don’t want to become so wrapped up in the the bigger picture issues that I’m not there for people who are thinking about how to pay their electricity bill tomorrow, that wouldn’t make sense to me, honestly, because of where I come from. So I’m redirecting so that I can serve those communities more specifically talking to women and girls about their own creative pathways as they pursue what they want to do in life. Because I think I think creativity is a really innate quality. And finding your own creative pathway, let’s say you don’t have any money. Well, sometimes all you have is your creativity, and sometimes all you need is somebody to remind you that there’s always something inside of you that’s so much more than your circumstances and worth so much more than money can buy. So I want to be one of those people who serves as that reminder, and I also have a book in the works, but I can’t say too much about that yet.

Carol Cox:
Oh no, I’m completely intrigued. So you’ll have to let me know once you’re allowed to say more about it.

Princella Talley:
I will.

Carol Cox:
All right. That sounds exciting, Princella, to the three questions that we like to end with. So favorites that you can recommend to our listeners. So first, a favorite.

Princella Talley:
Book, Jesmyn Ward, and then we read that book. It really meant a lot to me because the way she wrote it is just so smart and so raw, and it really made me feel a bit more represented in the world. So you have this woman, she’s she’s not a white woman. She’s a well-received author and she’s witty and intellectual. And her story is so brave to tell and vulnerable. She kept it real. She didn’t hide who she was. And I have endless amounts of respect for that. So that book, I think, was just a catalyst for me, even as I went into writing my own to just keep it real perfect.

Carol Cox:
How about a favorite TED Talk?

Princella Talley:
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable, the luvvie jones top and I won’t give too much away. But she talks about fear being a writer and the intro starts off with a discussion about being a domino. And the first domino falls. And then it makes the other domino fall when that first domino that falls so that all the dominoes can fall and create an impact overall. And that that’s powerful. And I would say personally, I consider myself to be that type of person. You know, I don’t need to be the star of the show, but if I can start a chain reaction that creates real positive change in the world, then I’m happy with that.

Carol Cox:
That is a great TEDx talk. I agree. And a favorite quote that you want to share.

Princella Talley:
Viola Davis Your only job as an artist is to put the truth out there in the world. I would say that, quote, Because we are all artists to a degree and you’re a public speaker, you’re an artist. Everyone can’t do that. If you’re a writer, you’re an artist. I think just your own existence, whatever you’re doing, you’re doing it artfully in some way. It’s just a question of, do you notice this?

Carol Cox:
I feel like this topic of truth or this idea of truth that’s come up repeatedly in our conversation, whether we’re writing op eds or we’re sharing our stories or we’re putting our art out into the world, and I like this broad definition of art is whatever our message. Our ideas, the things that we care about, putting that out into the world. Princella, thank you so much for doing that yourself. Where is the best place for listeners to connect with you?

Princella Talley:
On my website would be the best place it is, Princella. Telecom and you can send me a message to the contact form and I answer back within 24 hours.

Carol Cox:
Great. I’ll make sure to include a link to that in the show notes as well as a link to your Twitter account, because that’s where we first connected was on Twitter, so I’ll make sure to include that as well. Thank you so much for coming on the Speaking Your Brand podcast.

Princella Talley:
Thank you for having me. It’s a joy to connect with you. Thank you.

Carol Cox:
Thanks so much to Princella for coming on the podcast. Are you ready to write an op ed? If you are, please email me and let me know. I would love to hear you can email me at Carol Cox as Speaking Your Brand. Make sure to also connect with Priscilla on her website and on Twitter. Those links are in the show notes. Until next time. Thanks for listening.

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