“I was shooting for the moon when I could barely pay rent. My mindset was far beyond my reality. But, on the other end of the hardship is a dream job, and if it was easy everyone would be doing it.”
Life is a video game with a series of side quests, between which we wander aimlessly as we go.
At least, that is what Jared Lindzon, Toronto-based freelance journalist thinks. Times have changed, and, instead of going in a straight line across a two-dimensional world, we live in a three-dimensional existence with endless routes to choose from and opportunities waiting to be unlocked. “Things may be less clear than they used to be, but they’re more interesting and exciting.”
Jared found his passion for journalism while volunteering at the Western Gazette, Western University’s student publication. He transformed a complaint from the Disabled Students Union about the lack of accessibility on campus into a call-to-action to the university, and watched the construction of ramps, elevators and crosswalks emerge out of words in print in a campus newspaper article. “That’s when I saw the power that this thing called journalism has on the real world.”
From there, Jared pursued his dream of writing for the Rolling Stone. He used his in-born chutzpah and learned resilience in the pursuit of writing for his dream magazine.
“I wasn’t the best writer that I knew. I still know that I’m not the best writer out there, I can admit that for sure. But, I am a good hustler, and I do things not everyone would have the gall to do.”
“There are so many would-be stories, so many emails I’ve sent and calls I’ve made that have resulted in nothing. But I figured that the more times I did something where the odds were against me, the more likely it would be that one of them would pay off.”
For aspiring writers, Jared advises perseverance in an industry that is built on exclusivity.
With the expansion of media sources, Jared feels that it is his duty to tell stories that matter and that make people care. Jared takes the responsibility seriously of providing readers with access to accurate facts. “Democracy crumbles when the electorate doesn’t have access to information.”
“I want to be a positive example for the good that journalism can do, and to continue to pursue stories that I think are important and deserve to be told.” Furthermore, as a Jewish reporter, Jared acknowledges that everything he does in the public eye is a representation of his community, and carries that responsibility with him in all he does.
RANDOM RAPID FIRE WITH JARED
1. Coffee or tea
2. Fame or Fortune
3. Last book you read? Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
4. Raptors or Leafs
5. Useless talent? Naming any Led Zeppelin song based on the first 3 seconds.
Jared works as a freelance journalist and has written for The Rolling Stone, The Globe and Mail, The Guardian and The Toronto Star, among others. He currently writes on the future of work for Fast Company, and looks forward to furthering his career in the pursuit of telling stories that matter.
Interview by Adina Samuels