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.
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.