BY DAWN LAWRENCE
After spending two hours trying to make bagels and having to throw it all away, I was over it. I made dough, kneaded it, waited not-so-patiently for it to rise, cut and shaped it into bagels, then waited for it to rise more. It didn’t quite turn out like I expected, so I tossed it all into the garbage. I cursed those dumb bagels and the recipes I used and the time for being wasted. I was beyond frustrated.
Fast forward a few hours. I attempted to bake something else, because I could not let the first recipe ruin the day. The second recipe was pretty successful, happily eaten by friends at a nice birthday gathering.
A couple days after the bagel fiasco I asked a co-worker about what I did wrong (I work at a bake shop) and I realized that I actually didn’t do anything wrong. Well, I was confused. I didn’t understand one of the final steps, which I personally think could have been explained more thoroughly, so I called it ‘failed’ and surrendered. What a shame.
One of the hardest things about creating is facing your mistakes. Spending time making something, putting your best into it, all to come up empty is pretty disappointing. For some, it can mean calling it quits altogether, throwing in the towel on creative endeavors. But for others, it can be a place to learn and push you forward, seeing that you have been refined through the difficulties. I desire to truly embody carrying on and not giving up when things don’t go the way I hoped or anticipated.
For me, baking something else is a way to redeem what I lost when another recipe failed. I can practice my skills while thinking through what I could have done differently prior. I have to constantly remind myself that it takes a lot of baking to get better, and that there will always be mistakes.
What creative pursuits have you stopped pursuing due to making mistakes? What creative pursuits have you grown in by facing your mistakes and getting past them?
Photo credit here.