Coffee with Nicole Haddow

The first time I featured writer, Nicole Haddow, on BusinessChic was when she spoke at the wonderful Melbourne Writers’ Club.

Since this time, Nicole has been juggling part-time work and working on her first book, Tweethearts, that is released today. As if that wasn’t enough, Nicole is one of the three authors to be published through Penguin Books Australia’s digital-first imprint, Destiny Romance. Previously this imprint was for more traditional romance novels so Nicole is part of the crew forging new ground for the publisher with her look at how social media shapes modern relationships. Well done, Nicole!

In the lead up to the launch of Tweethearts, I sat down with Nicole to find out what freelance writers wear to work – I assumed that the range of occassions they need to dress for are quite varied! Whether the outfit worn when meeting with publishers to lock in the book deal would vary much from the “workwear” of working from home.

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As a freelance writer, how do you work out what to wear to work?

It depends on whether I have a meeting or I’m heading to an office. If I’m at home I’m usually in jeans and a t-shirt or shirt. Although if I have a burst of late-night inspiration you might find me writing in my Peter Alexander pjs!

If I’m heading out there’s a good chance I’ll still be in jeans, a nice top and a pair of wedges or sandals. Depending on the meeting or event I might choose a dress and heels. – at the moment I have a LIFEwithBIRD dress on high rotation. I also have a few vintage-inspired day dresses that are handy.

I always ‘get dressed’ even if I’m working from my home office. That means a bit of make up and doing my hair too. I do often work barefoot when I’m home, though.

Have you ever worn anything to work that you wish you didn’t?

I once wore a top I didn’t realise was so sheer people could see through it… oops. Fortunately most of my jobs have allowed relaxed personal style. I don’t regret many of my fashion choices, but I am thankful that I’ve worked in environments that have allowed creative freedom when it comes to dressing – I would struggle to do serious corporate. Being comfortable in what I wear to work makes a big difference to my personal productivity and wellbeing.

Favourite stores for work wear?

I’m a big fan of local designers so I usually shop at David Jones, Gorman, Camilla and Marc, Ginger & Smart etc. Country Road is great for basics. I only buy a couple of things each season and usually pull them out over and over for years to come.

What inspired you to write your first book, Tweethearts?

I’d always wanted to write chick lit. I started several times and never saw a story through to the end. But when I was freelancing in Sydney working in magazines and reality television I found myself thinking, “there’s so much material here…” and Tweethearts was born.

I also wanted to create a character who was completely immersed in the digital world – someone like me who’s always checking to see what’s happening on social media, getting caught up in other people’s online lives and getting into trouble for it. I hope my leading lady will be someone people can relate to.

What are your favourite forms of social media and the tools you use to access them (i.e. apps). If you use a smartphone, what are some of your favourite social media apps?

I use the pretty standard social apps – Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Instaquote is handy for putting words on an image. I also find I use a lot apps to counteract my social media activity too. Pocket Yoga is brilliant for guided yoga session that can be done from home and I use the Smiling Mind meditation app when I’m feeling stressed or having trouble focusing.

You recently tweeted that juggling work and a side creative project is “bloody hard” – what are some of your tips or advice for BusiChics thinking of doing the same?

It depends on the size of your side creative project, but I found writing a novel while working full-time so hard that I changed my lifestyle, went back to freelancing and doing some part-time work so that I wasn’t so drained. Having balance is ideal if you’re taking on a side project, otherwise you’re too tired to enjoy it. You really have to love what you’re working on or there’s a good chance you’ll give up on it. I always made time for family and friends during the process (unless I was on an editing deadline!)… no side project is so important that you should give up your social life.


Nicole Haddow tweet

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Thanks Nicole!

Tweethearts is released through Penguin books TODAY. Happy Valentines Day, BusiChics!! x

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