A media personality/social columnist/blogger/Playboy centerfold who writes about Chicago (and beyond) with nightlife/parties/celebs/fashion/art/culture/entertainment news on Chicago Now, her blog CandidCandace.com, her Chicago Tribune Sunday “Life and Style” column (“Candid Candace”) and her award-winning internet show (“Candid Candace TV”) on YouTube.
WHAT LED YOU TO START WORKING IN DIGITAL/MEDIA PUBLISHING?
Well, I’ve always had a need to communicate from a very young age. I’m a Gemini so this is a pretty big component of our nature anyway. I had my opportunity when I was working as the fashion director for Today’s Chicago Woman Magazine. The founder, Sherren Leigh, was creating an online presence for the mag and asked me if I wanted to write a blog for it. After I left the magazine, I realized how much I loved sharing the news so I started my own blog, Candid Candace.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
I start out at the computer in our library/den. I typically have anywhere between 100 and 250 emails to go through before I begin any work. I like to keep my social media up to date, so I’ll handle this then too. Then I work on any number of columns or blogs–going through notes, transcribing interviews, etc. We’re out a lot in the evenings, which I love (my husband, not so much), but I’m very social. Any interesting events that come my way, I like to check out.
WHAT’S YOUR WORK SETUP LIKE?
Since we love road trips, I would say my most important app is Siri and Maps. After that, I couldn’t do my job without the voice memo app, camera + (to beautify travel photos, etc.). That’s about it as far as apps/tools go.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO GET INSPIRED?
I travel as much as I can and I always try to see something new every day–whether it be something as simple as a pumpkin patch over Halloween or a new store I’ve never visited. Diana Vreeland’s book title states, “The Eye has to Travel” and I couldn’t agree more. I also love to read, ANYTHING and EVERYTHING, and that’s inspiring in and of itself.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF WRITING OR QUOTE?
My favorite motto is “when one door opens, another door opens wider.” This has truly helped me through some difficult situations that I didn’t understand and, in every case, the door I hoped would open didn’t, and the one that did was always a better fit for me. My husband and I are also rare book collectors–modern firsts and children’s books being our specialties. I have the first edition collection of A.A. Milne’s “Winnie the Pooh” books, many signed by both Milne and illustrator E.H. Shepherd, and am a firm believer that everything you need to know about life, you can find in these four little books.
WHAT’S THE PASSIONATE PROBLEM YOU ARE TACKLING AT THE MOMENT?
I’ve had so many people suggest I write a book and, as I sit idly by and watch everyone I know pen tomes, I wonder what’s stopping me. This is what I’m grappling with at the moment–can I do it, where can I find the time and is my memory could enough to remember details. Other than this, I worry all the time about my Tribune column and my blog and always hope I am getting out useful, fun and positive information in a timely manner.
IS THERE A PRODUCT, SOLUTION, OR TOOL THAT YOU THINK IS A GOOD MATCH FOR YOUR DIGITAL PUBLISHING EFFORTS?
I don’t think I could live without Google, along with everyone else. I know it’s simplistic but it’s true. I remember the old days when we owned encyclopedias. Mine were all worn to a thread. I crave knowledge and look for it in every nook and cranny.
ANY ADVICE FOR AMBITIOUS DIGITAL PUBLISHING AND MEDIA PROFESSIONALS JUST STARTING OUT?
Yes, don’t let anyone tell you what you should or shouldn’t write about. Write about your interests and your work will find its own audience. In other words, be true to yourself and your beliefs even if they aren’t popular. You will find your niche among like-minded fans and supporters. If you do this, you will never “work” a day in your life.