Because of You

Two weeks ago, I did something big. I believed in myself. I took a risk.

I put in my two week’s notice at my full-time job.

All my life, I’ve considered different career paths. Many things jumped out at me… a dolphin trainer, a news anchor, a high school English teacher, a public relations professional. Each one intrigued me, but didn’t really excite me.

When I graduated from college with a degree in advertising and public relations and a minor in marketing, I found myself working in the public relations and marketing field. I quickly learned marketing and living by sales numbers was not for me and I gravitated toward tasks that involved writing.

Brochure and magazine content, press releases, e-newsletters. These were my favorite assignments.

After almost two years in the real world, I realized I wanted a career in writing. I accepted my current job in December 2008, excited to write website content for two large sites, even if the topics weren’t ones that peaked my personal interest.

The Beginning of Blogging

In 2008 I discovered Tina’s blog, Carrots ‘n’ Cake, while reading an article she wrote on Health.com. Her blog led me to discover the healthy living blog community and I immediately fell in love with blog reading. It wasn’t too long after I began reading blogs that a little voice in the back of my head started telling me to start one of my own.

In September 2009, I began Peanut Butter Fingers, thinking it would be a fun hobby that would serve as an outlet to write about topics that interest me – fitness, food and living a healthy, fun-filled life. I figured a blog would allow me to share recipes with friends and family while also providing me with a space to write every day where I could work on my personal voice and writing style.

I never really expected anyone to read it.

ugly sweater party 011

In the beginning my readers included my family and Ryan. I began participating in the blogging community by commenting on blogs. Slowly but surely people began commenting my blog and stopping by Peanut Butter Fingers regularly. I was so excited to hear from readers and receive comments from bloggers and the sense of support and genuine care that I felt from people that I had never met in real life was unbelievably moving and motivating. I kept on blogging, looking forward to sharing my life with my small amount of readers three times a day.

A Passion Begins

As the months rolled by, I found myself enjoying blogging more and more. Blogging was my “me” time. It allowed me to write and reflect. To share, laugh, learn and grow. I fell in love with my hobby and felt something inside of me.

I felt a passion begin to form.

Prior to blogging, I never really knew what I wanted to do with my life. I had ideas and career paths that sounded okay, but nothing lit a fire in my heart and brought me to life. Until blogging.

The idea of blogging for a living crossed my mind many times. It didn’t seem like a realistic goal, but it became my dream.

And now it is my reality.

My dream is coming true because of you and your readership… and my heart overflows with gratitude for the support you provide to me every single day.

So, What is My Plan?

I don’t want the core of my blog to change. I have worked very hard to build a blog I am proud of and will strive to keep it that way.

While my blog will serve as my “backbone” and is allowing me to take the plunge and leave my full-time job, I am not depending solely on my blog for income. Not at all. In fact, I hope freelance work is what inevitably keeps me afloat. I have been actively pursuing freelance writing opportunities and my desire is to continue to seek out freelance work regularly.

Throughout the past several months, balancing my blog with my full-time job became too much. I wasn’t pouring all of my efforts into either my blog or my job and I felt like I was spread too thin, approaching both my blog and my job at half-speed. My love for my full-time job, which I absolutely adored in the beginning thanks to fantastic coworkers and a wonderful office environment, began to lose its luster and didn’t ignite me like it once did. My commitment was first and foremost to my full-time job, but that caused me to turn down freelance writing opportunities that I otherwise would have poured myself into because I simply did not have time to maintain my blog daily, work full-time and balance freelance work. I also couldn’t provide my blog with the attention I longed to give it every day.

My blog consumed my thoughts… in a good way. I found myself thinking about things I wanted to share on my blog all the time. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to implement the exciting ideas I have for my blog or complete backend work on my blog (coding, aesthetic changes, etc.) because my free time away from my job was dedicated first and foremost to simply writing daily blog posts. I struggled greatly with feeling like I was not giving my best effort in my everyday job or my blog.

Finally, after many, many in depth conversations with Ryan, I knew I had to make a decision.

My decision was to take a chance and follow my heart.

Two weeks ago I decided to put all my eggs in one basket and take a leap into a career in blogging and freelance writing – a career that excites me, energizes me and terrifies me all at the same time. I am a planner and not really a risk taker by nature, so this transition will be the biggest leap of faith I’ve ever taken in my professional life.

Never in a million years did I think I would not work in an office environment. I thrive on a schedule and have always been hard working and ambitious, thinking about how I can benefit a company and grow to my full potential. Though now I will technically be reporting to myself, I plan to work hard and keep my current schedule. I will still wake up with Ryan early in the morning, go to the gym, walk Sadie and head to work by 9 a.m. – only my work will be freelance writing projects (or actively pursuing freelance writing projects) and dedicating time to making Peanut Butter Fingers a place on the internet that you want to visit.

I have so many ideas and thoughts running through my head and I cannot wait to continue to share my life with you every day.

I am scared… but I am thrilled. I have never, in my entire life, felt this passionate and excited about a career path.

I feel like I’ve finally found where I am supposed to be.

Comments

  1. says

    My dream come true! My ultimate goal is to quit my job to blog full time. I was unemployed for 4 months and put all my energy into my blog. It was the best 4 months I’ve ever had career wise. I blogged, recipe tested, spent 2 hours/day working out, and ran around the city in my lulu lemon outfits. Not only was I happy but I was in the best shape of my life. Gosh those were the days. I also threw a charity event for eating disorders to celebrate the 1 yr anniversary of my blog. I would have never been able to do that if I was working full time. For income I freelanced and worked for my family business which helped me stay afloat. Freelancing pays so well!
    Julie, you made the right decision and I can’t wait to see what you do with your site! xoxoxo
    Lauren

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  2. Nicole says

    Hi Julie! I started reading your blog a couple months ago when I came across it through Carrots n Cake. I read it usually once or twice a day, but somehow I missed this post until today! At first I was thinking that you took off time from work while you and your hubby are in the process of moving… but then I was thinking that it seemed like you hadn’t been to work in awhile! I’m glad you included a link to this in your post today so I know what’s going on now!!

    Anyways, I see a lot of parallels between your life and mine. I also majored in PR and I’m currently working from home for a PR agency. Writing is my favorite part of it all as it was for you, but I’m definitely not passionate about my job. I often think about what I could do work-wise that would make me love the work, not just do the work because it pays the bills. I also have a passion for food and exercise. And I have a very lovable dog too (and a great hubby as well!). I read your blog because I feel like I can relate to you in a lot of different ways. I feel like I’m in that stage that you were in when you were reading other blogs and considering starting one of your own. I feel so happy for you that you’ve decided to follow your heart – I feel like you definitely have what it takes to make writing & blogging a successful career. So best of luck to you in your new ventures!!

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  3. says

    As I mentioned on my previous comment I love to write as well. I hope one day to take the same path. I loved to write ever since I was a little kid. In junior high, high school and college I was on the newspaper staff. I dreamt of writing for a living. However moving to a big city like New York or LA just wasn’t right for me. I love living in my town here in Florida and would never move away from my family. I’m so glad of all of the opportunites we writers now have because of internet. I am so happy for you Julie. You can live our your writer’s dream. (BTW I too started reading Tina’s Carrots and Cake). Its been about a year since you started working fully on freelance and the blog. I hope you are enjoying this time. Blogging freely about your passion can ignite the soul. Good for you to live our your dream. And THANK YOU for passing along tips to others on blogging to help us one day do the same. I just started out on my blog and I picked up a freelance job. right now I’m being stretched so thin- I work 2 partime jobs during the day and then blog and freelance at night. We’ll see where it takes me. Here’s to you Julie and another year of adventures of blogging. :D

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  4. says

    Wow! I just read this and can’t help but think “Good for you!!!” I think its so much better to be in a job and place in life where you are truly enjoying it than working just to work. I just found your blog today and I think its great. Thanks for putting in all the effort you do!

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  5. says

    Hi Julie!
    Just wanted to say I love, love, love your blog, and have been hooked ever since I stumbled upon it a few months ago. Your passion for healthy living is so inspiring and I look forward to reading your new entries daily. I had a question about how you started your blog. Did you build it out yourself in the beginning or did you have a designer help you with the layout? I recently started my own blog, but its in the very early stages, and have dreams to someday make it look as beautiful as yours, but don’t know the programs well enough to do so. If you have advice about making a blog come to life visually, it would be much appreciated!! Keep up the great work!!

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  6. Janna says

    Julie,

    I have never read a blog before in my life, but I am truly glad I happened upon yours! I am a 23 year old from Canada, who just graduated college and I am currently going through the “Lost” stage of my life. I am not sure what I am working towards right now or if i am even moving in the right direction.

    Your blog is an inspiration! I too believe that we eventually get to where we need to go, and it is such a relief to read about someone who has gone through this stage in their life, followed their heart, and made it out the other side. I am just hoping I can be as brave as you some day.

    Thank you !

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  7. says

    I found your blog yesterday on Skinny Runner and I love it! That is so awesome that you followed your heart and now goin why you love! Major props to you!!

    I have recently started my own blog and noticed that one of your posts said that you contacted local Orlando papers to get your blog out there. My hubs and I used to live in Orlando, but found that the tourists and everyday craziness of I-4 was not our thing, so we are now in Clermont. What papers did you reach out to? I’m trying to get more readers, not for “popularity,” but to help them in their struggles of weight loss, like me.

    Again, love your blog and congrats on following your dream!!

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  8. Julia says

    I found your blog through Carrots n’ Cake and I love it! I am also a freelancer and in grad school for counseling AND trying to figure out my career path. phew. I was a journalism/pr major and like you, I’ve thought about a lot of jobs that would be fine, but nothing excites me yet. Maybe blogging would be a healthy, fun outlet for me as well! Keep up the good work and thanks for the motivation!

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  9. says

    I just found your page through Old Navy and your story sounds so similar to mine, except I haven’t gotten to the freelance writer part yet. I’d really just love to write all the time! Where do you go to find your work? Thanks for your blog!

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  10. says

    Here I am, commenting on a post written almost a year and a half ago. So, I’m a little behind. Oh well. I cannot tell you how much this speaks to me and inspires me. Your honesty is so refreshing. Thank you so much for sharing this. I hope that someday, I have a similar story to share.

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  11. Hillary says

    Just came across your blog through Pinterest and love it! I’m definetely inspired by your decision to leave a full-time career to pursue your true passion. I’m in the exact same boat although I haven’t found my “true” passion yet but I know it’s somewhere out there! Also, thank you for posting the treadmill workouts!

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  12. Brittany says

    Hi Julie! I love reading your blog! I check it everyday and appreciate the updates from twitter. I’ve read this post many different times and each time it inspires me to blog. I do have one but have neglected the poor thing because I work a full time job and come home with little to no energy at the end of the day. The energy that I do have I spend it playing with my dog. I completely relate to this post because – more than anything – I would love to blog for a living, teach nutrition, and be a personal trainer. Those are all happy and positive daily activities that I would love to do. This is really inspiring and I really admire your courage to take a risk on yourself. Keep up the amazing work :)

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  13. says

    Julie, thank you for this post and always keeping it real! I’ve been a reader of yours for years and your approach to blogging helped inspire me to create my own blog. Keep up your amazing work! :)

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  14. says

    Hi Julie,

    Luckily, we have a mutual friend, Michelle, who pointed me in your directions. So glad she did! I’m new to PBF but am enjoying reading your posts & hearing your story.

    Thanks for putting yourself out there.

    Warmly,
    Emily

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  15. says

    Great story, very inspiring. I can relate so much. It does take a huge leap of faith to pursue something different and out of the box. Good luck to you and your continued success!!

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  16. Dottie says

    I just recently found your blog and I love it! I am trying for a serious career change, and I’d like to get into blogging and freelance writing. If you have any suggestions for someone who’s a total newbie for starting to get freelance writing jobs, that would be amazingly helpful and I would really appreciate it. Thank you!

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