Sometimes cake making is fun. Sometimes it’s full of tears and disappointment. At those times we feel like a failure, and we look to our friends and family to remind us that it’s not that bad, and just to get back on the horse so to speak. But what happens if you decide you don’t like horses? Sometimes it’s about knowing when to quit.
3 years ago I quit making cakes. I quit teaching cakes, weddings, cupcakes, even baking. I quit my passion, my dream career. The truth is, it wasn’t my passion anymore. I loathed cakes. I stopped following cake boards on Pinterest, I stopped following cake pages on Facebook. I shut it all down. I didn’t want to even look at a cake. Why? I had nothing left to give..
Being creative requires creativity. I know, that’s deep man! You need to feel inspired, excited, and see possibilities everywhere. I saw work, and repetition, and old ideas. I had been trading off designs I hadn’t changed in a year, and when it came to designing new cakes, I hit a wall. A brick wall. It wasn’t like I was designing terrible cakes. I wasn’t designing at all. Welcome to burn out.
I’d been been making cakes for over a decade. I had a shop, classes, weddings, and I had been working 80+ hours a week for 5 years. I worked 29 days out of 30, and I didn’t go to bed until 1am-4am most nights. Never before that, and sometimes not at all. At one point I was hospitalised for 2 days for lack of sleep. What does severe lack of sleep cause? Severe head pain, vomiting for 48 hours, and extreme low blood pressure. Chills, fainting, an enormous amount of scans and tests, it’s a hoot!
With no sleep comes no ideas, no motivation, no drive to keep going. I didn’t need a holiday. I needed a detox. I started resenting having orders, answering the phone, anything that involved working on a cake, or thinking about a cake. So I stopped. Cold Turkey. Finished up my bookings and packed up the shop. I went and got a job back in finance. I spent a year not making a single cake. I rarely even used the oven. I walked away and just left it all behind. I can honestly say it was the best decision I’ve made. Well, aside from marrying hot guy from the bar, and having his babies. That was a pretty good move too.
Then something amazing happened. I missed making cakes. I felt this pull, this desire to bake. And then to decorate. Ideas started coming to me, and I started sketching again. I felt butterflies in my stomach at the thought of a new design. I couldn’t wait to see how it turned out. I wanted to teach again. I was rested, excited, and full of ideas. The truth is, I didn’t have a clue during that year that I was ever going to come back to cakes, but suddenly it was all I could think about. I quit cakes, only to fall in love with making them all over again. And that my cakey friends is how I joined YouTube and started teaching cakes to the world. All because I quit!