Monday, June 21, 2010

Stick to What You Know

Yesterday morning I hit a writing wall. Full on. Head first. It happens. Usually I start writing about plot or setting or a character when my work in progress and I are not getting along. Not yesterday, though. I wasn’t in the mood to write anything. So, I decided to bake an angel food cake as a little break from work. And I decided to bake it from scratch (mistake number one). People were coming over to celebrate Father’s Day. Why not impress them? (Thinking I’d be impressing anyone with my baking = mistake number two.)

I am usually the kind of baker who tears open a box and adds water to the pre-put-together cake mix. However, there were no Betty Crocker boxes in the pantry (mistake number three). What is a blocked writer to do? Break out a cookbook, of course.

I won’t horrify you with the gruesome details of how my little baking break went, but I will admit that it stretched into a long term commitment. Twelve sacrificed eggs, untold cups of frustration, and more than one inappropriate exclamation later, I had a one inch high angel food cake. Note: Angel food cakes are supposed to be tall, light, and fluffy.

The moral of this story for me is this: Stick to what you know. The next time I hit a writing wall, I may take a break, but I will go to the store and BUY a cake. Or, at the very least, purchase a box of cake mix. And then I will return to my writing and ignore my sour mood.


  1. it wrong to be laughing? sorry about the cake, but I so relate! It is good advice to stick to what we know and I seem to have to keep relearning this simple lesson. :)

  2. I made a yellow cake for my husband last week, and for some reason it would NOT come out of the pan in one piece, and it all fell apart. I tried to frost it, but kept making more of a mess. Sometimes working on my manuscript seems that way, too. (Am I actually making it better, or just patching it back together?) File under: Mama told me there'd be days like this . . . *sigh*

  3. Hi Tess--Oh no, it's not wrong to laugh. Believe me, the whole experience was laughable. I know what you mean about having to keep relearning the lesson of sticking to what is known. I can't promise that I won't try cookbook baking again. : )

    I love your comparison, Linda! Whether trying to fix a cake or a manuscript, it's sometimes hard to know when to walk away, isn't it? Yup, I've been there. Ah yes, days like these. Ugh.

  4. I am so sorry about your cake girly. I know how it. I am not even going to tell you about my cake horrors. So sorry that you hit a wall. I've learned you have to walk away from it for a while. Do some blogging. Laugh! Hope all is well with you beautiful. Thanks so much for coming by!

  5. Hi there! Ah, no worries about that cake. Live and learn, right? Next time I hit a wall, I may just turn to blogging instead of baking. : )