A few weeks ago, whilst I was watching the Great British Bake Off, I decided that I wanted to become a baker so I impulse bought a guidebook called ‘The Ultimate Guide To Baking’ in the assumption that it would instantly transform me into the next Mary Berry.
‘The Ultimate Guide To Baking’ is full of images of expertly constructed, pristinely decorated cakes.
Each image is accompanied by a set of instructions which are arranged in a series of ‘simple steps’.
In theory, following these simple steps will enable you to accurately replicate the cake in the book.
The problem with guidebooks is that they tend to be written by extremely talented people who have spent years honing their craft.
Therefore, what may seem like a ‘simple step’ to them, is actually quite challenging for the average person.
In addition, each ‘simple step’ is linked within a co-dependant chain of other simple steps so, in order to successfully replicate the image in the book, it is necessary to follow every single simple step correctly.
If you mess up one simple step, it directly affects all the other steps and the entire thing collapses – like a game of ‘simple step’ jenga.
I first learnt that simple steps aren’t as simple as they seem when I decided to learn to draw as a child and made the mistake of believing that a ‘Drawing Made Easy’ guidebook would transform me into a skilled and masterful artist.
It turns out that 23 year old me can’t cope with simple steps either…