Cakewrecks makes me cry because it is my life in a lot of ways.
One of my other passions/jobs/hobbies besides writing is making cakes. Fancy cakes, cupcakes, stuff with fondant on it. I have a little price list and I do work for random people – some are referrals, some just find me on Facebook. There are parallels between writing and cake, I’m finding.
1. Can you just write/make me a…? Usually this sentence ends with something ridiculous. “…four-tier fondant-wrapped sponge cake in five flavors? I need it in three days and I have a budget of $20.” Or, “A 27-page brochure that requires research and has huge blocks of technical language? I need it in a week and my budget is $50.” People think that cakes and writing just come out of my bellybutton like magic. I like to think of this as the Cake Boss effect. People watch TV shows where a commercial bakery produces spectacular cakes in less than a week. Here’s the thing: I’m just one person and I only have two arms. People have no concept of big commercial baker vs. little home baker. And people STILL think that writing is easy. You know what’s really easy? Bad writing.
2. Why is it so expensive? You get this in freelance writing and you get it in cake. It’s not expensive, dummy. It costs the exact amount it should cost. I do a lot of math to decide how much to charge for stuff and I have to include things like when I make a cake, I use actual butter and sour cream. Those are more expensive than lard and whatever else you might use instead of sour cream… For writing, it takes time to research, write, revise, revise, rewrite. Time is money, people.
3. I’ll just go to Walmart/do it in-house. I do custom cakes. People loooove their sculpted fondant. So when I get a request to do a baby-butt shower cake (don’t ask), I have to figure out time + supplies + effort to sculpt out of sugar a baby’s behind, legs, feet and diaper. Then they’re STUNNED, SHOCKED even, when the quote comes back beyond what Walmart will charge. I cannot tell you how often I hear, in a really miffed voice, “Well. I can just get a sheet cake for $15 at Walmart.” Yes. Well, I love to buy cakes where I can also purchase ammo for my gun, motor oil and camouflage pajamas. Same thing with writing. “I”ll just have my secretary do it.” Yes! Let her, because she has Word’s spelling and grammar check, she’ll be FINE.
I have a lot of Feelings about this.