A few weeks ago I participated in my first cookie swap. I was so nervous to send another cookier my cookies. I have sent cookies in the past to some of my cookie friends but they were simply to taste and were decorated very simple. This was my first time making cookies based on a questionnaire someone filled out. I had to make cookies specific to that person’s likes. Why was I so nervous?
The answer is that just about all of us are very critical of our work. We see all the flaws in what we do and we make ourselves crazy thinking about whether the recipient of our cookies will see the flaws and not like them. The truth of the matter is that probably 9 out of 10 times we are the only ones that see these flaws. The recipient sees the meaning in the cookies. They are not inspecting them with a magnifying glass or with a critical eye. They simply look at them in awe of how we captured what they wanted for their special event.
I spoke to a couple of my closest cookie friends and discovered that I wasn’t alone. They had similar thoughts. “Will they like my cookies?” “Will my cookies meet their expectations?” “Will they think is this it and be disappointed?”
After speaking to friends it gave me the idea for a post like this. A post to say that no matter how awful we think our cookies are to find beauty in them. Instead of seeing everything that went wrong with them start seeing everything that went right. I’ve had meltdowns and so have my friends but at the end of the day we have to tell ourselves “it’s not the end of the world, it’s just cookies”.
I’d like to show you the first cookies I ever made back in February of 2011. I became obsessed with cookie decorating when the office building I work in was having a cookie decorating contest. I wanted to enter but I had never made decorated cookies before. I Googled and came across Sweet Sugarbelle. That’s all it took for me to get the cookie bug. I spent hours and hours looking over her blog and knew that I wanted to learn how to do this. It was so fascinating. My friend’s birthday was coming up and she’s a huge UT fan so instead of starting off with just cookies I had to go big and try a cookie bouquet. What was I thinking? Look at the size of that pot. I cried and cried because one of the longhorn’s horns broke. I had to glue it back on with royal. I don’t even know how I knew to do that but I just did. I tried it and thankfully it worked. I can look at these cookies and see all that’s wrong with them but I can also look at them and see that for my first cookies they aren’t all that bad.
I dont’ know if I’ll ever stop being critical of my work. It’s in my nature. I’m a perfectionist but I’m trying real hard not to be.
Recently I made this cake for a friend and I was so upset about crumbs being in my icing that it never made it to the blog.
I’m not purposefully keeping lack luster work off the blog so that people only think I make great stuff. That’s not my intention at all. If that was the case I wouldn’t have a blog at all because I see flaws in everything that I do.
As a blogger that does tutorials I feel like people have come to expect certain things out of me and I’m afraid to disappoint them. I’m constantly searching for ideas that will have that “wow” factor. I put a lot of pressure on myself. I need to let this go and just have fun with what I do. I enjoy teaching and coming up with ideas for cookies and want to continue doing this for as long as I can but it needs to be fun and not stressful.
If you read my post where I looked back at some of my favorite work then you can see the progression I’ve made in my decorating from this first cookie bouquet. I’m proud of how far I’ve come.
If you’re new to cookie decorating or cake decorating and you struggle with finding the beauty in your work you are not alone. We all go through this. Don’t give up. Try to find the good in what you created and just keep at it. I’m proof that someone who has no artistic ability (I’m a stick figure drawer) can make pretty cookies. It just took practice. I’m still learning everyday.
Thanks for stopping by today. Happy creating!