I hate baking.
I love eating the finished product, I even enjoy the decorating. But I hate baking.
All the weighing a measuring, gathering together of ingredients, the waiting around, the anticipation, the disappointment if it doesn’t turn out right.
Some people bake to relax, some do it as the job. Me, I’ve tried my hand at both.
I used to run a cake business from home, highly decorated cakes that would cost you hundreds of pounds from a professional shop. I probably should have charged my customers more because of the sheer number of hours that went into designing and producing the cakes. But I enjoyed it, the decorating side of it, I got to flex my artistic muscles, which I don’t often do.
But the business took a lot of time away from my children, despite being run at home.
Also I hated the baking part, because when it went wrong, it was stressful. I had a few disasters due to the weather. One year I had quite a few orders and the weather was really hot. Heat and buttercream frosting do not mix.
And you know what they say… if you can’t stand the heat, quit. So I did.
Once my eldest daughter started school I could have picked up my wooden spoon once more, instead I picked up my blue ball point pen, my preference, and started writing.
Other than the processes and products being entirely different, baking and writing are a lot alike:
1. You have to gather up the ingredients and equipment (research your story, develop the chatacters)
2. Follow the recipe (try your best to remember the basic structure your primary school teachers told you were necessary for a story)
3. Make a few amendments per to taste & throw a few nuts in, who doesn’t like a nut? (forget the basics and write it the way you want to.)
4. Double check you did everything right (edit, edit, edit)
5. Bake it and cross your fingers (prepare it for publishing and cross your fingers)
6. Decorate. (give it a cover)
7. Taste test. (proof read with a limited pool of readers)
8. Eat and enjoy. (release your book into the wild and hope it finds its feet)
9. Wait for feedback. (Wait for reviews)
10. Next time you bake, bake to your taste but try to remember that not everyone wants walnuts in their cake.
The only difference is, I always wanted to be a writer, I didn’t always want to be a baker. So, I enjoy every aspect of writing, even the stressful and tedious parts. And just like a soft nutty, fruity cake with chocolate topping, writing is rich, delicious, filling and you can’t stop at just one slice.