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Why writing a book is like baking a cake

There are two things I love to do; write and bake. Yep. Kind of the same, but opposite. Both end products are (hopefully) beautiful works of art. Perhaps I should explain.

As I work on my latest Kate Reid novel, set to release sometime in May, I began to make the correlation. Beginning a book is very much like mixing a cake. It's kinda messy and sometimes you have to play with the ingredients to make it just right. Sometimes you add salt when you meant to add sugar and you have to throw the whole thing out. That doesn't happen to me too often, but it has happened.

So then after you've added all the ingredients, carefully folding in the flour and other dry ingredients, you start to create a cohesive batter. This happens with writing a book too. The story unfolds and the ideas blend together to create a batter.

Once the batter is poured into the pans, you put it in the oven to bake. Well, for me, my "baking time" for a book is when I've completed my first draft and I let it sit, or "bake" for a while. Usually a week, sometimes longer. Then I take it out and start to edit it with a fresh perspective.

Same goes for a cake. Take it out of the oven and you see the golden goodness that is ready to be decorated to perfection. After toiling for hours, because I've never taken a cake decorating class before, I come up with something pretty decent; something that I'm proud of. Nothing at all like this stunning cake. No way am I that good.

This is where the comparison diverges just a little bit. Rather than toil for hours to make the book as perfect as I can get it, I generally toil for weeks. Then it goes to my editor. Then I toil again, making her changes/suggestions. Finally, what I end up with, I hope, is a beautiful work of art. A meaningful, exciting story that I can truly be proud of.

This idea only recently occurred to me as I prepared to design my son's tenth birthday cake for his birthday next month. Funny though, because there are so many striking similarities in the processes, seems quite logical!

So, if you've ever wondered what it's like to write a book, this is what it's like for me. A big, messy, pile of ingredients that with hard work, turns out to be something pretty cool and fills me with a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Keep an eye out on Amazon for the newest Kate Reid book to be available for pre-order very soon!


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