This blog was written by mentee Sanjana Kaicker who was motivated to action by mentor alum Maeve Higgins’ craft talk in our persuasive podcasting workshop.
Comedian, host of hit podcasts, advocate for climate justice and immigration… Maeve Higgins came to Girls Write Now to speak about her experiences and her career path at the November digital media workshop and left me feeling motivated (Maeve herself hates the adjective “inspired”; she believes that true inspiration should lead to direct action) to take action and to follow my passions.
Born and raised in Cobh, Ireland, Maeve immigrated to the United States and she has been passionate about immigrants’ rights ever since. Her podcast Maeve in America: Immigration IRL features the experiences of immigrants from all over the world. Even as an immigrant herself, Maeve says that she can’t know the experiences of others. “Podcasting is a way of learning about a whole person I don’t know about and to learn it directly from the person,” she told the eager audience of mentees and mentors.
What really struck me listening to Maeve speak was the idea of using podcasting as a inexpensive and accessible way of spreading ideas and initiating change. “With podcasting, you can learn something, but you can also get a very straightforward action out of it. It’s a very effective way of creating movement,” Maeve said. When I think about spreading information, I typically think of social media, news channels, and newspapers, but Maeve’s work made me see that podcasting could do the same.
While writing my own ideas for a podcast in the workshop activities that followed, I was inspired to write on transportation and people’s commutes around the globe. Maeve mentioned that her job enables her to travel widely, to share her ideas and her journey with others, and I wanted to incorporate this element of the human experience in my podcast idea. As a second-generation child of two immigrant parents, journeys are important to me—especially the growth of the people who go on them. Maeve shares stories of others’ perseverance and determination and her own perseverance to talk about topics that matter to her inspired me to do the same.
As someone who started as a comedian and now hosts podcasts, Maeve excels at talking about serious issues with levity in order to captivate an audience. As a 17-year-old girl, I may not know where my personal journey will take me, but I’m left with a desire to figure out what matters to me and to share that eventual passion with others.
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