For a good several months, Nikki and Jamye have been planning the next step in their respective and shared careers. And I’ve been there to help them make it happen.
That next step (just in case you’re not following us on any of the myriad social networks we’re on) is a trip to California. So as I’ve been working with Nikki to lock down all the details for her part of it all, I thought it only fair (me being me and all) to give it a proper name.
Of course, if you know Nikki Young at all, there’s one thing you KNOW about Nikki Young: It’s not enough for her to reach for her dreams, unless her friends are reaching for their own. It’s one of the myriad reasons she’s my boss, my mentor, and one of my nearest and dearest friends.
So while I’ve been doing what I can to help her with her work, she’s been helping me with mine.
It was a couple of months ago that she put me in touch with Edmond Ortiz at the North Central News (a publication of the San Antonio Express-News). She and I had talked for a couple of… well, years about building up my writing portfolio with freelance work for the local papers. But I let time and life get in the way for a little while, as we do sometimes. So Nikki pointed me to a few leads, including Edmond.
My first assignment came a couple of weeks after that: an interview with Debbie Trueman, a local author. It all came together pretty quickly, and the actual article was a lot of fun to write. But I was still nervous to see how it would be received, first by Edmond, then by the public.
So I was not a little surprised, and not a little encouraged, to find that my first freelance article made the front page, and that it received a nice response. For a rookie, it was nice to know I was on the right track.
My next assignment – and one I’m especially proud of – came last week, as my profile of Daniel Edelen was published (and you can read that here). Daniel’s an extraordinary young man; diagnosed with leukemia at an early age, he’s devoted his life to raising awareness and raising funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (or LLS, if you will). And with the help of his family, and an incredibly generous community, he’s done so well at it that the Society has named him its Man of the Year. To clarify, that’s Man of the Year for the entire organization, across the nation.
I’m really honored to have the opportunity to share Daniel’s story. Writing that article was a chance to do what every writer dreams of, a chance to move and inspire people.
And it’s a reminder that this is what I want to be doing. What I’m supposed to be doing. And on a much larger scale than I’m doing it now.
And so The Nikki Young Project begets The Lee Hurtado Project…
Over the next few weeks and months I’ll be working to expand my reach and resources as a writer. Seeking out more freelance opportunities. Building up my IMDB page (yes, I actually have one. So do Nikki and Jamye, along with a host of my friends and colleagues. So if you have a few moments, I hope you’ll take some time to like us all). Writing a lot more for this blog. Even launching my own website.
There’s a lot to be nervous about, but also a lot to be excited about. So I hope you’ll continue to follow along as I find my way.
Thanks to everyone who helped make this post possible: Debbie, Daniel and his family, everyone at LLS, Edmond and everyone at the paper, Jamye, and of course, Nikki. I really couldn’t do any of this without any of you.
I hope you’ll continue to follow along as all of this comes together. Until then, “be seeing you…”