Cool Friends: Haley Nahman
Meet Haley, a writer & editor based in Brooklyn, NY. Her words have graced the sites of Man Repeller, New York Magazine, and her weekly newsletter: Maybe Baby. We (obviously) love newsletters and Haley’s advice column in Maybe Baby is *Chefs Kiss*
How did your career as a writer begin?
I grew up very unaware of the “media world.” I never collected magazines or dreamed of working at one—it all seemed so far away and irrelevant to me. I grew up in Silicon Valley where most people worked in tech, so that’s what I did too: studied “Business,” moved to San Francisco, worked at startups. But I realized pretty quickly that it didn’t feel right, and so I spent my early twenties writing in my spare time and teaching myself creative skills so I might change careers. I wanted to be in New York but was scared that wanting too much would make me hate my life, and it did for a while. My efforts led me mostly to dead-ends, until I landed a job as a junior editor at a New York culture website based on my writing samples. I couldn’t believe it (still can’t). I flew here two weeks later, stayed at the company for four years, left as the Features Director in March, and now run my own newsletter and podcast and write freelance in Brooklyn. A tale as old as time...
What's your favorite part about the New York creative community?
I love being and working around such a diverse group of people with such a diverse set of skills and interests. New Yorkers are often characterized as being relentlessly ambitious (and that can definitely wear me down on the wrong day, or wrong month?), but I find that if I surround myself with people who share my values, it’s inspiring and energizing on a level I’ve never experienced.
What's inspiring you right now?
I initially found quarantine inspiring in a dark way, if only because it was unlike anything I’d experienced before, and that compelled me to put it to words. But that well dried up a while ago. These days I’m pretty starved for inspiration, if I’m honest. It’s a depressing time. A few things are keeping me afloat though: Leslie Jamison’s The Empathy Exams (currently reading), old 1960’s episodes of Looney Tunes (incredible animation and storylines), and long walks around Bed-Stuy, my neighborhood, which is full of characters and lined with big, old trees.
Newsletter and podcast: Maybe Baby
@halemur on Instagram and Twitter
Featuring photography by Louisiana Mei Gelpi and Clémence Poles