Have you ever wanted something SO bad that you would spend hours and hours dedicated to it? Do you have something that pulls at you with a force that you can’t explain? Did you ever have a “big dream” that you’ve always worked for in the background? No matter what it was, grandiose or teeny tiny, I’m sure that it’s been there for a while. For me, this big dream has always been blogging. At age 13, I told my parents that I wanted to become a full-time blogger before I understood what it meant. I walked up to my mom and dad and told them that I wanted to create a blog and get paid to do it. Since then, I’ve been on a mission to make it my reality. Fast forward 10+ years, I’m working at my dream day and night. Then, I thought about quitting the whole damn dream.
Career Day: 2nd Grade circa 1998/1999
I can distinctly remember career day when I was in 2nd grade. If you never had a “career day” in your school, you’re lucky. While I understand why career day was important, because it gave kids the chance to dress up as a career they wanted to be in, I think it also puts a lot of pressure on kids who don’t want to go in a traditional route. Most of my friends came in as firemen/women, police officers, teachers, and other well known jobs. When I came in, I dressed up like a writer. Can someone tell me what a writer dresses like?! I came in with a jean dress layered over a tshirt, notebook and pencil in my pocket. Stereotypical, right?
Becoming a writer was not traditional. Is it seen as a traditional career path today? Not necessarily, but it’s becoming much more popular. My 2nd grade teacher asked me what I was dressed up as. My classmates and friends asked me what I was dressed up as. I remember my parents said that this was fine, just because I couldn’t make up my mind about what the heck I wanted to be! Writing has been my medium of expression before I dabbled in other creative industries. I knew I had things I wanted to say and writing was the best way to get my thoughts across.
Blogging Day One
I’ve had MANY hobby blogs and personal diary blogs. Blogs where I shared way too much information on the internet and others that I now consider extremely embarrassing to read! In the back of my mind, I always had a goal to create a blog that would become monetarily sustainable. At 13, I thought if you write and write and write, then eventually people would come to your website. Also, at 13, I’m pretty sure I thought my life was so interesting that people would eventually just find me on the internet and love my blog! Yes, that is a complete lie. Just because you write well and you write a lot does not mean that people will come to your blog. I soon learned the hard way that marketing makes up more than half of the blogging sphere and that blogging was REALLY 70% marketing and 30% content creation. That’s a lot of self-promotion and collaborating or reaching out to brands for sponsorship!
The Blogging Break
For the past three years, I’ve taken The Quirky Pineapple much more seriously than any other blog I had. I started to invest money into my blog (they’re expensive!) and read through as many free online courses or resources as possible. There are many notebooks in my house with scribbles and notes of Instagram engagement, growing followers, SEO optimization, and way more. I read through everything trying to find the secret to monetization and growth. I bought courses, attended workshops, and reached out to bigger bloggers for mentorship. Meanwhile, my anxiety started to build little by little. I started to put so much pressure on myself to reach my own deadline and goal that I felt stressed every time I typed in my blog’s URL.
I’ve been asked a few times if I work on my blog full-time. When I tell people “no”, their reactions consist of genuine surprise and shock! While it seems like I’m working my tail off to make it appear full-time, it isn’t. The pressure of keeping up the appearance that it is a full-time job was really eating at me. I’m sure that not everyone reads every single blog post that I write, but it didn’t matter because I felt a huge pull to keep on writing. The pull kept telling me to create more and more content. I felt the anxiety and stress sitting on my shoulders when I didn’t post enough or receive enough engagement. There were nights where I couldn’t even sleep because of the frustration I felt with my blog. I stayed up until midnight on my phone scrolling through and engaging on Instagram, commenting on other blog posts, and trying to find brands to collaborate with. I WAS CONSTANTLY WORKING AND TRYING TO FIND MY BREAK.
After April, I was ready to quit because I didn’t receive the results I wanted. If you’re like me, there are lots of ideas that you want to try because they all sound interesting. Well, that got me in a black hole of wanting to do EVERYTHING. I wanted to create a travel journal/planner, open up an online shop, plan retreats and masterminds, and more! Whatever idea that popped into my head and sounded fun and cool, I ran with it. Hah, that’s when I started to lose focus.
Refocusing & Re-centering
So after almost quitting, I decided that I really needed a month off from writing and creating content. The first few weeks I felt even MORE anxiety for not constantly being on my laptop and churning out blog posts and pinnable images. And then afterwards, I felt this sort of calmness and ease because I let go a bit. My creative juices were flowing again and I didn’t feel so burnt out! Where does this leave the blog now? There are quite a few things that I was able to focus on while on my break. Prioritizing things that I loved doing and I knew would help me reach my end goal became my top to-do items.
Here’s what’s coming up for The Quirky Pineapple for the second half of the year:
- Blog Mentoring! If you’ve ever thought about starting a blog, want to get more serious with the one you have, or need help finding your voice and brand, I am here to help! Not sure if this is something that you want to commit to or want to learn more about it? You can schedule a FREE 30min discovery Skype call with me to see if this is something that you can benefit from! (Contact me to learn more!)
- Instagram Rebellion: #travelismorethaninstagram!! We are taking to Instagram from June 5-7 and sharing our travel whys, stories, adventures, mishaps, and connecting through the captions. The rebellion is in full-force, y’all, and I’d love to have you in on the movement.
- Travel coaching with Map It Trips! Mario and I have been working so hard on revamping and redoing the Map It Trips website to provide people with a more user friendly and easier navigating experience. If you are planning on traveling to Spain or around the United States, contact us for travel coaching services.
- Photography projects. Blogging is my passion, but photography has always been something I’ve been EXTREMELY shy about. I will be jumping into photography full-force, so if you are looking for someone to capture your fierce diva self, contact me to set up a session!
- Venturing out to the world of freelance and content creation. Yes, y’all read that right! I’ve had a few freelancing gigs here and there, but have always dabbled in it. I am looking to take on more freelance work and hopefully be able to create a very strong second income stream from it!
- The Quirky Pineapple Lifestyle & Travel blog may be getting a new look soon! Although I love the layout of my blog and have worked really hard on its aesthetic and look, I think it may be time for a bit of an upgrade. I want this space to be an online portfolio for writing and photography projects, a website for future clients to find my services, and a blog for all of the Pineapplers!
It’s been a whirlwind of a ride with The Quirky Pineapple, but so very worth it! Thank you, Pineapplers and new readers, for being patient with me as I figure things out and take y’all on the ride! I am learning what works and doesn’t work for the blog as well as for myself, and am trying my best to create content that is relevant and entertaining for you. If you have any suggestions for the blog on what you’d like to see more of, what you dislike, or suggestions, please leave a comment below or send me an email: cassandra.le17 [at] gmail.com!
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