Netflix has this show called “Nailed It,” where amateur bakers compete to see who can create the most passable baked goods. Elaborate cupcakes, cakes, gingerbread houses, and even watermelon carvings are what the contestants try to recreate. The cast and crew are great, and it’s evident that this is a show that has fun and sometimes doesn’t take itself very seriously. There’s only two seasons so far and I’m definitely hoping there will be more.
Obviously, the challenges are timed and you can tell that some of the most complex desserts would never be able to be done in the time frame that’s allowed. Of course, that’s part of the challenge, to see how the contestants do with managing their time between decorating and baking something that’s edible. They’re not going to be on par with the professional creations but, dammit, these contestants try.
The whole premise of the show — aside from trying to win 10k with edible, semi-pretty cakes — is to learn. The judges critique not only the taste of the desserts, but they also instruct and help the contestants figure out where they went wrong and give tips on how they can improve.
My favorite episodes are where you can clearly see the contestants take the advice to heart after the first round and apply what they learned to the second round. With that said, the challenges give the constants room to add their own touches to their cakes. They are beginner bakers, not pros, and they need to improvise and put their own spin on the cakes in the time they have.
Being another creative pursuit, it’s a lot like writing.
You do not improve before making some mistakes. You first draft is not going to be at the same level as a professional. More experienced writers can and should give you well-meaning advice, but never forget that your writing is your own. Like baking, you need to put your own style, your own flair, into your work.
And, yeah, maybe your work won’t be the prettiest. Maybe it won’t be to everyone’s taste. But that work is yours. Be proud of what you have created in the time you created it, because you created something out of nothing and that is a fantastic feat to be proud of.