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Charlotte Bismuth on Medium

Earning the Readers’ Trust, And Other Notes on Editing

September 28, 2021

A Q&A with Jessica DuLong, the freelance editor and writer who was instrumental to the editing of Bad Medicine. This interview was edited for length and clarity.

Charlotte: Jessica, you’re not just an incredible editor, but also a boat engineer and author. Which one came first, and how do your professions relate to one another?

Jessica: I was always going to be a writer, but I never thought it was something I could actually [do] — and so I was constantly trying to brainstorm what could be my job so that I could be a writer.

I was in San Francisco at the beginning of the dot-com bubble, and I was going to Stanford. I found a way to sort of skyrocket straight to the top and basically be a magazine editor online. I was actually working for my second startup in the Empire State Building, and I was Director of Content Management — or who knows what my fancy title was — but I was like 28 years old and I was in New York City. My dad loved to tell everybody that the ‘lady looked up at me’ — the Statue of Liberty looked up at me — very cute dad joke.