Our stories are like the cakes we bake.
Some of us plan our cake making projects with military precision. We stick rigidly to the recipe and put in hours of ingredient preparation. Whilst the rest of us stare at the food cupboard, listen to the gurgle of our gut and chuck in any ingredient that takes our fancy.
This is like writing. Some of us plan our stories in great detail, weave intricate plot threads and write pages of detailed notes. Whilst the rest of us stare at a crack in the wall, drink some strong coffee and then start writing whatever pops into our head.
Some of us will get frustrated during the baking process. Our cakes might fail to rise, some of our ingredients, which worked in our head, might make us screw up our faces on taste and some cakes will never look like the glossy photo in the cookbook. We will be left either staring blankly into the oven window or collapsed in a teary heap on the kitchen floor.
Some of us will get frustrated during the writing process as plots don’t always go to plan, characters fail to come to life and the story staring back at us never reads like the one in our head. We are also left staring blankly at our draft or sat in a tear-stained heap on the floor.
We can spend hours perfecting a cake recipe, go through endless baking cycles and frustratingly the only feedback we get from someone is ‘Errr….(coughing fit)….thanks’.
As writers we face a similar problem. We can spend days, weeks, months or years perfecting a draft and frustratingly the only feedback we will get from a reader is, ‘Errr…(awkward look), well…it was okay.’
There are some bakers out there who possess ‘baking Jedi skills’ as they produce the most amazing cakes rendering their tasters and other bakers speechless.
There are some writers who possess ‘writing Jedi skills’ as they produce wonderful stories leaving their readers and other writers lost for words.
Baking takes years of practice and experience. So does writing!
We can experience emotional highs and lows with baking. Some days we will feel like we should be on the Great British Bake Off with the delicious cake, which has just come out of the oven and some days we will stare at the rack of miserable looking buns, with the odd coloured icing and tearfully shove them in the bin.
As writers we also experience changing emotional states. Some days we will feel like the story we are writing is a future bestseller and some days we will hate the sight of our draft so much we might also tearfully shove it in the bin…still warm!
We add love and magic into the baking of our cakes and the writing of our stories.
The cakes we bake and the stories we write might not always meet our expectations when first made, but they both came from a good place and the warm tingling feeling of actually creating something is great for the soul.
There comes a point in your life when you need to stop eating other people’s cakes and start making your own. The same can be said for writing. There comes a point in your life when you need to stop reading other people’s stories and write your own.
If only our stories smelt and tasted as good as cake…
Have a great day x