It has been over a year since my last blog post, I haven’t posted and I don’t really know why. Probably due to a number of reasons. Busy caking, busy procrastinating, busy thinking about blogging and never actually doing it, and partially because surprise surprise I’ve become completely burnt out and I have nothing left to say.
I wanted to start by saying I absolutely love cake decorating with a passion, it was and still is my dream, I am completely blessed to have the skills and knowledge to do this and turn it into a career as are so many other people. But it does not come without hard work, commitment, frustration, stress, lack of social interaction and loneliness. It’s an underrated career in the sense that people assume all cake makers are happy, joyful people who dance around a room full of pretty cakes, sprinkles and a house that smells like vanilla. That might be true, for some. But for the most part, it’s long nights, early mornings, high stress and pressure, lots of “sorry I can’t make it” and for me, this has turned into “I actually don’t want to go”. The lack of drive and motivation to even pull out my baking tins has become routine when this used to be my kind of bliss.
This is a hard job, it’s not one that comes with instructions either, we just throw ourselves in and hope for the best, hope that this crazy risk is going to work and we are going to be happy. That’s another thing we don’t talk about, the fact that everyone “expects” us to be happy. How many times have you heard “You must love your job!” “Your so lucky you get to do what you love” when all you want to do is scream and say “I quit! I want a job where they give you a christmas party!!!” Maybe with employees who can take some of the pressure off, AND SET WAGES! LOL But we nod, smile and say “yes I am very lucky, I love what I do, it’s lots of fun” Don’t get me wrong, it is! But sometimes, JUST SOMETIMES it can become a chore.
Like everything in life, balance is key and essential in this industry. We have to find time to maintain a business, update our skills and knowledge, follow but don’t follow trends, squash but also support competition, look after ourselves physically and mentally whilst also remembering we are HUMAN first and foremost. I think along the way I forgot that, and i forgot about the girl who was first just simply Nelle. I forgot to take care of the one person who makes this engine run. The good news is, you can actually help this situation, if YOU want to. Losing enjoyment and passion for something you once found solace in is heart breaking, it’s almost like you’re losing someone you really care about and not being able to control it. The mind works in mysterious ways, and for me my creative juices have stopped flowing (i actually hate that phrase). I find it hard to remain creative in a world full of “trends” and original but not originals. Being in a creative field is one of the hardest professions to be in, in my opinion, You have to stay creative and original at the same time, and if you’re running a business by using your creativity, you also have to accept the fact that you can’t always be creative. Sometimes you have to be boring, you have to follow trends sometimes, and “copy” which is often seen as a dirty word amongst cake decorators but to me it’s a normal part of life. Everyone does it and you know it.
This brings me to another point, which is that cake decorating is PRESSURE! constant pressure to be perfect, post pretty pictures, post better cakes, be better than your last. Don’t you dare copy, because you’ll cop it from the the copycat police, and if you do be prepared for that. The constant pressure and stress has sucked the life out of me. I’m writing this for those who feel like me, or felt like me, those who forgot about their voice, those who want to scream and throw their cakes against a wall sometimes because it didn’t work like it did on that youtube video. Cake decorating is the biggest cat fish, it’s a joyous, beautiful, frustrating, stressful industry all rolled into one. People will undermine you, undersell you, overestimate you. but they will also support you, praise you and thank you when deserved. So thank you to those who do!
Today, by making this step by even having enough mental strength to write this blog just shows me my love for cakes is not lost, my passion is still there and the fire still burns strong. This is actually a normal phase, a healthy phase if you will. Everyone feels like this at some point, whether its a severe or mild case. When you love and care about something this much it’s bound to send you a little crazy. The important thing is that it can get better, when we voice how we feel, relate to one another and support one another. If you’re reading this and you have felt anything like this at some point, chances are theres 100 more people who have also felt like this. You aren’t alone.
This is not a pity piece, not an outlet for a whinge, this is just simply a piece of raw writing that probably doesn’t make sense, but to someone it will. Don’t worry guys, I’m still a crazy cake lover, I’m still going strong, I just need a little time to let my mind do it’s thing.
Oh, and heres my latest cake, it’s a re-creation of a cake I had made previously. I didn’t change a thing, my mind worked like a robot while making it. The fact that I didn’t have to think too much made me enjoy it that much more. She’s a beauty, not because of how she looks but because she didn’t drive me insane, and I genuinely smiled when she was finished.
Love Nelle x