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That damned 5 percent

so good #16

July 13, 2016
Alberto Ruiz
so good #16
That damned 5 percent

Nick Muncy clearly explains in this issue of so good #16, ‘If you’re going to put in the 12 to 14 hour days and sacrifice your free time, then you need to be passionate about it … The job is a craft more than it is an art. You only get to be truly creative about 5 percent of the time. The rest is repetitive and unglamorous day-to-day production.’

Is it worth it? It is not possible to answer this question within reason. Any Cartesian analysis with factors such as time spent, dedicated effort, personal and domestic sacrifice, and economic benefit would result in a clearly negative result.

So then? How come there are so many people who decide to devote their lives to pastry? For that damned 5% of freedom and creativity, shaping dreams and imagination. It is the satisfaction of creating something personal and unique, and receiving recognition from colleagues and clients.

Do not forget that this 5 percent depends largely on the evolution of the trade. New paths will not be discovered if you always walk down the same streets. To create, to discover, even to just transform something, you have to challenge the norm, if only for a moment.

Nor should we forget that this almost measly 5% exists because there is 95% of tedious and thankless work. One thing is the consequence of the other. You can hardly create if the reality of the trade is not thoroughly known and if you have not rolled a few thousand croissants.

There are other opinions that are certainly more positive in general terms. Also in this issue of so good.. is the Italian champion Emmanuele Forcone who refuses to even speak of sacrifice to refer to the rigor of this trade, ‘when things are made with love it’s never a sacrifice, but at the same time we must be aware that our profession is difficult and therefore needs a lot of passion.’

In any case, to really talk advantage of that magical breath of creativity, that 5% of liberty, one has to be ready. To put it differently, ‘when inspiration strikes, it better find me working.’