In this episode of Chapter's Legacy Podcast, Mariana Thomas interviews Cathy Cassata, a health and wellness journalist, who discusses overcoming the stigma around mental health and channeling empathy in her writing and reporting.
The importance of being empathetic as a writer.
The reality of mental illness and overcoming the stigma around it.
The necessity of developing a good work-life balance, especially when you work from home.
Cathy starts the episode by introducing us to her path to becoming a freelance writer and the reasons she became passionate about health and wellness. She tells us about her father, a salesman who worked solely on commission, and how his own intense dedication and go-get-it attitude influenced her work ethic today.
While Cathy always knew for certain she wanted to become a writer, it wasn't until her mother received a breast cancer diagnosis that she became interested in health and wellness. Her interest in writing about mental health came from her relationship with a lifelong friend who began to struggle with schizophrenia in her mid-20s.
[21:18] “After watching her go through schizophrenia, I just thought, ‘Wow, people need to really understand what this is like, to live with different mental health conditions because this is a person. These are people who had lives and family and friends and jobs.’
Cathy offers helpful advice for people who want to become freelance writers. She says that developing a niche will make you stand out to the outlets that focus on that topic. It is also important to develop a healthy work-life balance since most freelance writers work from home.