On Full Time Blogging: The End of a Chapter - Skillful Cook
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On Full Time Blogging: The End of a Chapter

Woman teaching.

This is the post where I make the big announcement:

I'm leaving my job as a teacher and I'm going to blog full time.

In my mind, this post was going to be a really nice reflection on my years as a teacher and a really boom-pow exciting segue into the next chapter of blogging. Yeehaw!

But as I'm sitting here, all I can really think is that I feel a little shaky and I have a nice big nervous knot in my stomach and what the heck am I doing.

There is joy and anticipation somewhere here, I know there is because I've felt it again and again and again over the last few months as this big life decision has settled into my brain. However, now as my fingers are finally moving across the keys to draft this post, I'm feeling a small, sharp heartbreak and tears are springing.

Woman teaching a classroom of students.

I know that this big change is just mine and you don't really need lots of mushy mush from my heart to yours, but I do. This is so, so, SO important to me and I feel this deep desire to be understood about why I've made this decision. If you care about those sorts of things... well then, I wrote this post for you and me. ❤

Why Are You Leaving a Job That You Love?

A teacher in the classroom talking to two students.

In this moment, looking at these sweet pictures that Bjork took of me in my classroom today, I feel like I don't really know why I would ever leave that. I love this job and I believe in it.

But in the moments when I did know (and they've happened many times over the past few years as I've felt more and more the pressure of the two jobs), my number one reason is that I need to work less and live more.

I don't mean work less like sit around and play on my phone, although it's no secret that Instagram can suck me in for hours. ALL THE FILTERS. No, I mean like regain some sense of balance in life and be done with working 15 hour days, 7 days a week. There are so many things I love and want to invest time into, but my constant over-working-ness over these last few years has kept me from really going deep with any of them, plus it has kept me feeling edgy and frazzled and rarely at peace. And I don't want to live like that.

I don't expect to leave teaching and *poof* have all this magic free time, but my hope and expectation is that Saturdays and Sundays will become actual rest days, that I can have an occasional quiet moment in the morning, and that can find time to eat dinner before 9pm.

This decision has ZERO to do with not loving my job, my students, our community, the families, and my coworkers - this place has always been my dream school. The decision has everything to do with a much-needed personal time and energy shift.

What Are You Going To Do?

Thick and Fudgy Double Chocolate Cookies - so rich and decadent, it's like a cross between brownies, chocolate cake, and a big soft cookie. | skillfulcook.us

I've literally had these conversations with people:

So what are you doing next year? I'm going to work on my blog full time. Oh, that's so great! So what are you going to do?

And so instead of telling them that they just asked the same question twice, I just show them the cookie dough picture. Like, duh.

Blogging is such a mystery “career” that people don't really understand what the day-to-day tasks really look like. So here's what I anticipate I'll be filling my days with, starting on June 12th when school is all done:

Part One: Blog

  • making new recipes
  • taking photos like whoa (more than three seconds for a photo! joy!)
  • writing posts
  • social media management
  • comments and email -> the two things that are perpetually on my to-do list, which is such a gift because I LUV connecting with you!

Part Two: New Projects

  • creating new products
  • learning more about photography
  • print cookbook? mixed feelings, but there are conversations happening.
  • speaking at conferences - a few things lined up already! wheee.
  • teaching and attending workshops - another few things lined up already! wheee-hoo.
  • dabbling in podcast things
  • meeting other bloggers - f-i-n-a-l-l-y something I'll be able to do more easily
  • experimenting with recipe videos

Aaaand I'm going to go ahead and cut myself off there because I could go on forever. Bottom line - there is no shortage of work! The best news of this whole thing is that I'm so pumped to start workin on this stuffs!

What Are You Most Excited About?

Healthy Maple Glazed Pumpkin Muffins: whole grain, less sugar and oil, 270 calories - Skillful Cook

This opportunity is so incredible. Once in a lifetime rare and incredible. I am most excited that both Bjork and I will now have the time freedom and location independence to set our own schedules and work from anywhere.

For example, this summer we'll go with my family to the cabin for two weeks. Normally we have to come back after a few days for our “real jobs”, but this time we can stay up there for the full two weeks and occasionally check in on the blog or get things done as needed. Or for another example, we can go back to the Philippines for an extended visit in the middle of February and not have to try to schedule that around when I have days off from school. Or for example, I can start my day a little earlier and end a little later so that I can have a long lunch date with my mom.

This is pure gold to me. Pure. Gold.

What Are You Most Sad To Leave?

A teacher speaking with a kid.

No question about it: my students.

I'm not going to say too much about this or I'll ugly cry, and in a little while I'm going to a friend's house to watch the premiere of the Bachelorette and I can't have that puffy eye thing going on for that.

But seriously. These 9 and 10 year olds are the light of my life. They also haunt my nightmares from time to time, especially early on in the school year. There have been moments where I looked at the clock and prayed to God that I would physically and emotionally survive the next hour and fifty minutes as students were... well, you don't even want to know what they were doing. But when we're at that beautiful point in the school year when everyone feels comfortable with each other and mutual trust and respect are so well-established, things feel good. We just go well together. And I don't want to leave them.

They'll be fine. I'm not worried about them. There are so many good teachers in this world who care deeply about their students, especially at my school. This is about me, really. Selfishly, I just don't want to give up those relationships. We go through a lot together, us teachers and students, and my heart is sad to leave that.

What About Bjork?

Man smiling.

Bjork has been working at a “real job” doing tech work for a nonprofit 2 days/week this year, but starting in June he will join me in going full time with the blog. He'll still be doing some work here and there for the nonprofit that he's working for now, but most of his days will be spent with me working on Skillful Cook and Food Blogger Pro and other similar ventures from right here in our home.

Um, yeah. THAT.

Now taking advice.

Onwards and Upwards

Yesterday I noticed one of my students carefully reading something inside the front cover of one of the books in my classroom library. I came closer and saw this message that would have otherwise been stuffed somewhere deep in my library and forgotten:

Note on a book.

My heart twisted and pinched. Change is hard.

But in life, we move onwards and upwards. I reminded myself that teachers take many shapes and forms other than the ones found in elementary school classrooms, and it is my hope that I am just moving from one teacher role to my next teacher role whatever form that might be.

As I think I've made plenty clear through all my textamaniac blubbering, there is no shortage of raw sadness as I prepare to step away from what has always been a defining part of my identity. But the decision has been made, and, for this season of our lives, it is the right one.

Right there with the sadness is a complete exhilaration to get to continue to build on something I love with 110% effort. And PS. what is even going on. I started Skillful Cook during my first year of teaching, on a whim one night while sitting around wearing sweats and a hoodie firmly planted on a hand-me-down couch. And now it's my real job.

Life is a ride.

Woman teaching a classroom of students.

It's coming to a close, but I'm so grateful for the experiences I've had through this chapter.

Happy, happy heart.

If you want to read part one of the story from last year, when I was in a different place and I made the decision to continue teaching, you can find that here.

Also exciting: Jess and I have a little talky talk about the decision to go full time + our experiences in the Philippines + more on The Lively Show podcast today! Jess does SUCH a great job with this inspiring podcast and it was an honor to be a part of it!

You guys? Thank you for listening to my story. I mean it. Like, big time. Thank you.

Filed Under: Life News

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    My goodness, what an exciting change! Honestly, blogging full time seems like a dream. Not that it isn’t hard, but that it would be incredibly enjoyable and fulfilling, especially being able to work full time with your hubby. Enjoy the next chapter! You deserve it!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Thank you Madison! It seems like a dream right now, too! 🙂 Ha! I’ll let you know how it REALLY is once we get to mid-June and both of us are working from home all day. Eek!

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    Lindsay, this post is beautiful and, as hard as it is to leave a job that you love, it’s great to see that you recognize that you need to work less, and invest in other things as well. You rock at blogging and you can see the passion for it, so I am really excited to see where this all takes you! As having just quit my job to blog full time, I know it can be scary – but so exciting!
    I’ll be prayin’ for your journey and I can’t wait to watch it! 🙂 <3

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    What a big and brave decision you’ve made Lindsay. It’s always come through your posts so strongly how much you love teaching but this sounds like the right choice for you guys now and I can’t wait to see what exciting new projects you have up your sleeve : )

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    Congrats Lindsay! If anyone deserves to take a “break” and by break I mean only have one job, it’s you and Bjork! Whenever you miss teaching, just remember that you’re teaching us new bloggers all the time! I’ve learned so much from you guys, and, hopefully, it will allow me to quit my day job one day. 🙂

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      And I would second this comment, Michelle, I couldn’t agree more! Congrats, Lindsay! I’m so excited to see where you and Bjork take Skillful Cook!

  5. Skillful Cook Logo


    I tried to start my blog nearly 3 years ago, never got very far with it at all as time was an issue. Many times I came close to just shutting it all down, why spend the money for something that is just sitting there mothballed, rarely touched, always waiting for the time to do something about it.

    Long boring story short *grins*…I recently came across your blog, really enjoyed digging through all your great content. I also joined Food Blogger Pro and have learned so much in such a short time.

    You’re still teaching, just in a different way! You helped me figure out what I wanted to do with my site and why. I’m currently undergoing a major site over-haul…why did I think I could do that in a couple days, ha! I swear all I was going to change was a little here and there. You got the creative wheels turning in my head again and well…I think I’m going to need a little bit more time to get it done!

    Anyway, I just wanted to Thank You for relighting the fire. I know it won’t be easy, especially juggling a full-time job and life, but at least I’ve rediscovered the desire to try! And that is always a good thing 😀

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Oh my goodness, Claire! I was going to post almost the exact same thing. Lindsay and Bjork have taught me sooo much in the past couple of months. If I would have started my website adventure on my own I don’t think I would have ever made it. There is so much time and effort needed to run a successful website and these two wonderful people have been a godsend. TO LINDSAY, just remember what you said in your own words if you begin to start ever doubting your decision…”teachers take many shapes and forms other than the ones found in elementary school classrooms, and it is my hope that I am just moving from one teacher role to my next teacher role whatever form that might be.” You teach a lot of people EVERYDAY whether you realize it or not. I’ve listened to yours and Bjorks voice so much of the past couple months that it honestly feels like you two have become a part of my family. Keep up the good work, us out here will benefit greatly from it!

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’m preparing to leave my full time community organizing job at the end of this month to try blogging full time as well. It’s exhilarating and terrifying. Not to mention incredibly difficult to entrust those precious relationships to someone else. But I’m with you. 2 full time jobs = zero time for spontaneity, for rest, for long lunches with mom and volunteering with the kiddos at church. I can’t wait to not only have more time for the blog, but more time for LIFE. Here’s to this new chapter, friend!

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    Congrats to you!! Wishing you good luck on your new journey!! Can’t wait to see what is to come from your awesome blog 🙂

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    Congratulations!!! I’m SUPER excited for you two!! I know you will CRUSH IT!!

    Earlier this year, my fiancé left her job to continue to pursue what started as a hobby, then a part time job and now she is earning a significant income, doing something she loves and is passionate about. Seeing how happy she is every day is an amazing thing which I know you can relate to!!

    And I think you said it best, “…I need to work less and live more.” Sometimes I think our culture doesn’t value like we should. But we only get one shot and might as well live it to the fullest!!

    So thank you again and thanks for letting us be a part of this!


  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    You are AMAZING!!! Our family was lucky enough to have Mrs. O for a teacher, that year our daughters life changed, in a very different way, she learn what kindness,compassion,empathy,hard work, and the love of Pugs!… Looks like. Lindsay and Bjork will have and deserve best life will bring there way. Best wishes on your next chapter!!
    XO~The Killian

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    So happy for you Lindsay! Change can def be hard! Oh, my, the title had me thinking it was the end of the chapter for full time blogging! Backwards. 🙂 Best Wishes and Blessings as you navigate on through! God Bless!

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    So happy for you!! Though I can certainly understand the mixed emotions. All good things to come 🙂 🙂 And I’m excited to see all of your future endeavors!!

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    Beautifully written. I am a teacher myself and I can completely relate to what you’re saying. I am never going to get to a level of full time blogging but I have recently thought of exploring new adventures… we shall see. 🙂

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    Once a teacher always a teacher. You have been doing this through your blog all along. Congratulations on you freedom to choose doing what you love.

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    Oh Lindsay, I know this is a truly bittersweet moment for you, but one that I completely understand. Committing to a food blog, and doing it as best as you can takes more time than anyone can imagine. You’ve built an incredible site, and now that you will have more time to devote to it, it will only get better. Congratulations!!!

    I loved the part about your friends asking, “so what are you going to do?” I get it! When I tell people that I am a food blogger they look at me with the blankest of stares. But that’s all right, because sometimes I’m not sure what I actually “do” either. Ha!

    Best of luck to you!

  15. Skillful Cook Logo

    Lindsey — While, of course, I don’t know you in real life, I stand in awe at the space you and Bjork have created here. Your recipes are always the bomb, which is what hooked me in the first place, but your writing, your passion, and your generosity of spirit is what keeps me coming back for more. Teaching means many things, indeed, and I think it’s fantastic that you gave yourself permission to listen to your heart and to pursue your passion while making an intentional effort to LIVE and not run yourself into the ground (lesson number 1, folks). Congratulations on this big step. Can’t wait to see what you guys dream up next.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Rachel said (beautifully) exactly what I was thinking. I have recently “retired” from teaching first grade for several years to be a stay at home mom! This blog has been wonderful for me and each week I’m so excited to look through recipes to decide what I’ll put on our meal plan. The recipes ARE “the bomb”!! Also, I thoroughly enjoy your writing. I feel like I have a friend every time I sit down to read skillfulcook! Thank you for the recipes, your humor, your “friendship”!!
      -from a fellow Minnesotan =)

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Thanks Emma (and Rachel)! So nice to hear that you guys like the work (aka food) we’re putting out there. 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement!

  16. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wow! I am so excited for you… and a little bit jealous! I will definitely stay tuned for your further adventures.

  17. Skillful Cook Logo


    Congratulations on a big move. You made me cry. You are truly amazing person. I wish you all the best blogging full time . You achieved what others dream about. You should be very proud of yourself. I admire you. Good luck!

  18. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wow! So excited for you both! I’ve been following you guys for a while now and just adore this blog. I can’t wait to see where you take it. Only great things lie ahead!

    Best wishes!

  19. Skillful Cook Logo

    Change is always rough but you know that it is a good change when you feel conflicted. You never want to be forced into change. There is so much good in your future. I really admire you for taking this opportunity to REALLY live your life! Sending lots of support and well wishes your way.

  20. Skillful Cook Logo

    Congrats! I’m excited for you to live and rest more. That freedom to work from anywhere any time is one of the best things there is. It takes some time to learn the balance of when to turn off, but it gives you so much freedom. You guys have built something really amazing here and I’m sure it will be even better getting your full attention. Best of luck!