So far we’ve talked to some women who take the reins in the PR realm and just wrapped up a month with stunning vocalists. All through March we’ll talk to women who put pen to paper and then transfer into a lovely WordPress template for music lovers to enjoy. All the ladies featured over the course of the next month have a special place in my heart even though we’ve never come face to face and I am more than thrilled to share their thoughts…
…When Allie Volpe was in college she did study journalism but her heart was always in radio and during her time in high education, she spent most of it at her school’s station and didn’t really consider herself a writer at the time. In just a few she’ll go into how she fell into the realm of freelancing and while it has its ups and downs, she says she’ll never go back to a 9-5 job, “Conventional is boring. I had a job where I woke up every day, went to a silent office, sat in a cubicle, did the same thing every day for eight hours and didn’t talk to a single person and it was soul crushing. I love people and I love words and I love stories and I love experiencing things. Anyone who pays me to do that stuff is a literal fairy. Whether that’s considered non-conventional or not, I’ll take it.”
Now more on the badass blogger who took Philly by storm and is making her own way in this world with the written word.
Kendra: How did you land in the world of freelance writing?
Allie: Freelance writing was actually a decision that was sort of forced upon me, but I’m so, so grateful that it was. I was full time at Philly.com/Philadelphia Inquirer/Philadelphia Daily News until December of last year when the company laid off many of its younger staffers – myself included. It was totally unexpected and not great for my ego, but I’m not a person who’s satisfied with sitting around idle waiting for opportunities to come to them. I knew I had to hustle. I knew I’d have to ask some favors. I knew I’d have to do research and pitch editors who didn’t know me or my work. But it worked. And the stories I’ve done have been the most fulfilling pieces of my career thus far. This time last year, I could’ve never imagined getting the opportunities I’ve gotten over the last few months. I was complacent and I didn’t think I was capable of it. Losing my job was the best thing to ever happen to me.
Kendra: Is there a blogger you follow whose career you hope to immolate?
Allie: There are definitely writers who I’m familiar with and who’s body of work I’ve followed, but I’ve never put a target on any one gal or guy and said, “That! That’s who I want to be like!” It’s nice to have people to look up to, but for me, my biggest inspiration has been myself. To challenge myself to be better and work harder. That’s what I think will help me succeed.
Kendra: Do you ever feel like women bloggers get “typecast” in any sort of way?
Allie: I can only speak for myself, but I’ve definitely gotten comments like “OMG, your life is JUST like Carrie Bradshaw’s!!” While I think it’s super funny and anyone who’s said it meant no harm, it definitely casts a shadow over the hard work that we lady scribes do. A statement like that places a certain lifestyle on a pedestal above the hard work that comes with the job. Though it is weird (in a good way) to think that outsiders think I live a seemingly as “glamorous” life as Carrie. I’m way less exciting.
Kendra: With that, have you ever had to take a writing job you loathed to ensure the rent was paid?
Allie: Ha, yes absolutely! When you suddenly find yourself without a job, you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do to make things work. So if that means fake it ’til you make it, then so be it. It’s been fun and exciting to get outside my comfort zone, though. I just used so many cliches in this answer – I’m sorry everyone.
Kendra: On the flip side, so far in your career, what article of yours are you the most proud of and why?
Allie: I’m pretty proud of the recent piece I did on Julien Baker for Consequence of Sound. The first song of hers I heard was “Something” while I was still at Philly.com and vowed I would write about her when she came to town. I got laid off but still kept that promise to myself. It’s nice to sit down and pick the brain of someone who’s work inspires you. It also makes it really easy to write about them. I love the stories where you feel like you owe it to the subject to pore over every word (and let’s be real, every subject I write on makes me feel this way) and make it as beautiful as their music or art or passion is. So I hope anyone that read it felt that.
Kendra: What was the best thing you learned while at Philly.com that you’ve taken with you to other gigs?
Allie: I learned so, so many great things at Philly.com and worked with so, so many smart and wonderful people. The most important was probably observing the miracles performed by editors. Getting the privilege to sit down with the folks who edited my work helped me grow immensely as a writer and as an editor. Knowing what a story needs to succeed or where clarity is needed are some of the hardest things to master and I’m so lucky to have gotten some of that insight.
Kendra: Where do you hope to be in 10 years time with your career as a blogger?
Allie: In 10 years, I hope to be a bad ass bitch. In all seriousness, I’d love to still be doing what I’m doing. Waking up every day and writing about people and music that make me excited. Subjects that make me thrilled to be telling their story. Writing for publications that I’m proud of, that I’d read regardless of whether they’re paying me for my work. Whether I’m still freelancing, on staff or in a managerial position is up in the air – I’m not really picky.
Kendra: If you had to make a mixtape featuring the artists you’re dying to get a one-on-one interview with, what five tracks would have to be on it?
Allie: Oh gosh, this is so hard. If this was like, two months ago Julien Baker would be on this list but I’ve checked that one off.
Tom Jones “What’s New Pussycat?”
Bloc Party “Living Lux”
Mothers “Too Small For Eyes”
Lapsley “Hurt Me”
San Fermin “Sonsick”
Bonus: Kanye West (obvs) “Ultralight Beam.”