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“What if it’s all been a complete waste of time? What if I’ve worked this hard, turned down money from freelance gigs, sacrificed weekends with my children, worked until stupid o’clock at night….what if I’ve done all this, and it’s been pointless? What if my business fails?”

The problem with my massage therapist is, she’s such a good listener. One minute she’s torturing my muscles, and the next she’s listening to me warble on about life’s woes.

And a few months ago, she experienced a full Laura-freakout - a display so spectacular it really ought to come with a ‘parental guidance‘ warning.

I had no evidence that things weren’t working out. My plans to launch the Write With Worditude subscriptions were right on track.

But I had somehow convinced myself that all the hours and energy I had poured into it so far, would’ve been much better spent finding and serving new copywriting client.

I was crying over cake batter.

There is a moment, part way through any project, usually when I have just got past the point-of-no-return, when I will stop what I’m doing, notice the devastation and think ‘Oh shit. What have I done? What was I thinking?‘.

This most commonly occurs during my annual cake-baking project. My Mum bakes around 20 birthday cakes each year, because we are a huge family. But once a year, for her birthday, the baking responsibilities fall to me.

And every year, there is a moment, when surrounded by the mess in my kitchen, weary with exhaustion, and feeling slightly nauseous after too much taste-testing, I slump over the countertop and wonder ‘what was I thinking?’. I have spent money on ingredients, expended energy mixing them together, created an astonishing amount of washing-up, and all I have to show for it is a bowl of inedible (yet deliciously aromatic) gloop.

It is The Cake Batter Moment.

I am scared to put the cake in the oven in case I burn it. Or undercook it. Or I’ve forgotten to put everything in it. Or for some other, as yet unidentified reason, despite all the time, money and effort, my best intentions turn into a rubbish birthday cake. I am crying over cake batter.

But every year the mess gets cleared up, the kitchen is restored to order, the cake is decorated, my Mum loves it, and my family eat it.

The Cake Batter Moment happens in every project I tackle. I’m so far in, I’ve invested so much, the vision of what I want to achieve is so clear…and yet all I’ve got to show for it so far is mess, tiredness and some gloopy unrealised potential.

So the next time you find yourself surrounded by chaos, and terrified at the thought of your dreams, time and effort coming to nothing, remember you can’t create a cake without getting through the Cake Batter Moment.

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