Many writers out there dream of freelancing full time or on the side, but there are very few who are able to fully realize that dream, either because they are too scared to "take the plunge," or they really don't know how to get started.
Meet Jay E. Valusek.
I came across Jason Smith's writing for the first time on Medium.com. He had written a piece called, "Putting Pen to Paper Does Not Make You a Writer: It Makes You a Primate." Not only was it catchy and entertaining, but it was also honest, simple, and beautifully written. His post, "Heroin in the Foothills" just made Medium's "Top 100" posts of August list.
After chatting and learning more about his background, it was clear that his interview needed to be on the site.
Spoiler alert: Jason landed a three part series on heroin addition in his local newspaper after simply walking into the office and making his pitch. They even put it on the front page.
Jason is interesting for a variety of other reasons, too, but I'll let his story speak for itself.
Let's get to it.
The first thing you learn as a journalism student is to write ledes. Good ones. Then, you learn to cut out the crap. By crap, I mean the useless words that drag down your stories, making them heavier and tougher to digest than the lean, mean, fighting machines. The articles that give your readers information and then let them move on with their day.
I admire the pieces that can pack a punch. Even news doesn’t always do this well.
The Curious Cat Project is all about connecting and inspiring writers. Personally, I love reading interviews with writers about their own stories and work. It's energizing and motivating! In an effort to help spread that feeling to my fellow writers, I am thrilled this month to introduce you to Jessica Bacal, who has a really cool story and impressive background.
Jessica directs the Wurtele Center for Work & Life at Smith College, an independent women’s college in Massachusetts.