A few weeks ago, my mom came to visit, and I decided to make a birthday cake for her, since we’d missed her birthday.
Now, I’ve recently (over the past two years or so) been experimenting with cake making, and I’ve really learned to enjoy it. I love the creating process and the ability to create something that people can enjoy. Ironically, it’s very similar to writing, except the result is must faster. I can make a cake and have someone eat it later that day. With writing, I’m still waiting for the chance to share it with others.
However, one of the things that I struggle with when I create is the ability to give up control. I like to make things perfect, so when something goes wrong, I have the tendency to get frustrated.
With the cake that I made, I ran into more problems than I normally do, and I got incredibly frustrated. The cake wouldn’t bake, and once it was finished, it was too crumbly and wouldn’t cut. Even the whipped cream topping I had turned into some kind of runny, milky, mess. Honestly, I couldn’t figure out what had gone wrong. Even though the cake was delicious and turned out okay, I was still frustrated with it.
I wish I could say I don’t do the same thing when I write, but I can’t. The greatest thing about creating is knowing that there’s always the chance of losing control. There’s always the chance that mistakes, or things that don’t turn out the way that you want can be the best thing that happens. Sometimes the characters or the story itself can resist to what I’ve planned and prepared, not because it was a bad plan, but because that’s not how it’s supposed to turn out.
So that’s my goal for now. I’m trying to release some of that control and give it to the actual creative process. How about you?