. . .on the way home from cake class. I forgot to secure the cake. Maybe it was late, maybe I was in a hurry to get home. Maybe I wasn’t thinking about the large chunk of my life I’d already spent mixing, baking and icing this cake. Could I have forgotten the two plus hours I had just spent learning how to make it look like a bakery shelf showpiece? Evidently yes.
It happened at the first stoplight; I was in the car five minutes or less. I stopped and the cake slid easily off its ridiculously precarious perch, flipped over and landed near my feet. Really, what was I thinking?
I got home, surveyed the damage and consoled myself, “this was a practice cake.” I felt deflated anyway–all that learning & practice --and for what?
The resident teenager arrived on the scene and quickly pointed out my cake didn’t look so good, but followed that keen observation with a worried, “Is it still okay to eat?”
Deflated me, “Of course.”
Hollow-leg teenager, “Now?”
Me, “Oh, why not – just take a picture first.”
Confused teenager laughing, “Are you sure you want to document this?”
Yes. Disfigured as it was, I wanted to remember my cake and the new lesson I was reluctantly learning from it.
I thought of my writing efforts and current work in progress (for the record – I don’t try to compare everything in life to writing, my brain appears to do it for me automatically!) and realized the same kind of thing could happen. I could spend hours, days and okay, years working on a project and it could fall flat on its face. I don’t like to contemplate such anxiety-inducing images, but a funny thing happens when I accept the worst possible outcome. I decide it is worth it – the work, effort and risk –are all worth it. For the process, for what I learn, for what I gain. If I have a finished product that looks like a showpiece, I won’t complain, but I’ll remember it’s the creativity that brings joy.
I’ll also remember –if I ever take a field trip with my manuscript – that little bundle of joy will be securely fastened by a seatbelt!