Writers Boon Blog


  • What Authors Can Learn from Goats

    Carol Vorvain


    Two goats

    Carol Vorvain (@writersboon) is an Australian international lawyer, mediator, author and founder of Writers Boon. Her books, When Dreams are CallingWhy not? - The island where happiness starts with a question and  A Fool in Istanbul - The adventures of a self-denying workaholic have been featured in a number of travel magazines including the International Traveller magazine and can be found in libraries, bookstores and on Amazon.

    Puppies, kitties - sweet creatures that eat before we do. Of course, that's the correct pecking order.

    Appenzell goats, alpine goats, Asmari goats, well, let’s make it clear: not everyone has them, not everyone wants them, not everyone loves them. Because, com’on, they are just some silly goats.

    Having said that, I have a confession to make: I am unabashedly head over heels in love with goats. I have two: Cookie and Boubu. And, as I write this, I gaze out at them through the window.

     How did this happen? Well, it was fate and a bunch of wrong assumptions.

    Or, maybe they were just sent to teach me a few lessons that I’m happy to share with you today.

    One goat is fine. Two goats is way better. For you and for them.


    First, there was one: Cookie. He was young, restless and easily bored. Kangaroos were of no interest to him, alpacas scared him shitless, the kookaburras seem totally unaware of his existence. And, day after day, he was more sad and lonely. He needed friends.

    So, I brought Boubu on board. Although he was way much calmer and obedient than Cookie would have liked, Boubu was still someone he could share some hay, watch the day go by, complain about me, the weather or whatever he’d choose to complain.

    Long story short, they became an inseparable happy couple.

    Lesson #1:

    Although most authors are introverted, lonely creatures, we too thrive in good company. We love writing retreats, writing festivals and conferences. We look forward being part of a Facebook, LinkedIn or G+ group and once someone gets us talking, well, we never stop.

    The time we spend with a kindred soul, helps us live better, write better.

    Goats don’t mow your lawn.


    When I bought the goats I was convinced that, starting right the next day, I’d better sell my lawn mower.

    I was actually afraid they will eat all the grass. Really, how could they know when to stop? They will eat and eat and eat until the meadow will turn into nothing but a patch of dirt.

    Boy, was I wrong.

    Both Mr Cookie and Mr Boubu refused to eat grass. Instead, they went after much more flavorful meals. For breakfast, they would have blackberries. At lunch, they would only serve roses.

    This is how the ‘War of the Roses’ started. But it didn’t last long. Pretty soon, the roses’ army led by myself was badly defeated. And, one by one, they were all gone. Red, yellow, white, beautifully pink, Cookie didn’t discriminate. Boubu followed his example.

    They both had an open-to-all policy. And no thorns could stay in the way.

    Hay became unappealing and pellets were a thing of the past.

    Sometimes, to pass the time, they would only nibble on my shoelaces, but that was about it.

    Lesson #2:

    You might think you know stuff, but do you really?

    Excitement and stubbornness are a dangerous combination. Even for a goat.

    When you see a YouTube video with baby goats, I know what you’re thinking: ‘Oh, they are so cute. Just look at them.’

    I look at them, I look every day, and I agree, they are cute. They are cute when they jump up, and they are cute when they jump down. They are even cuter when they bleat, get on two legs so they can hurl themselves violently into each other or doze off in the middle of the day.

    So, yes, they are cute, until you find them in your garage, jumping and sliding across the hood of your car in a state of bliss and joy rarely seen, matched only by your exasperation.

    Of course,  every minute or so, you will think they will end up killing themselves. After all, landing safely each time in the midst of action is no small feat or sure thing for those soft furry little bodies.

    But they wouldn’t care. Goats only know that they have to jump. Now. It doesn’t quite matter how high up they are. It’s risky, but more importantly, it’s fun.  And their great boldness pays off, most of the time. Except when it doesn’t. But why should they worry about that now?

    Lesson #3:

    Passion, enthusiasm do help. Especially at the beginning when no one seems interested in your books. But unless you have a well-thought backup plan, don’t quit your job just yet. Keep things in perspective.

    Going after what you really want would only get you one thing: what you want


    I have Cookie and Boubu since they were babies. Back then, I had to bottle-feed them, keep them warm near the fireplace. Now, rain or shine, they follow me around stopping only to ‘smell the leftover roses.’

    All this time, one thing did not change: their determination to do only what they want.

    In the pursuit of their passion, whatever that is, goats do ridiculous things, many times bordering madness. But they do everything light-hearted, convinced it will all work out. Many times, it does. When and if they get into trouble, they become creative. Somehow, they always find a way out.

    Lesson #4:

    Live, just live for a while. Go after what you want, choose to do what you like.

    Love life and life will love you back.

    Remember those summers when you were kid? Those scabs on your knees and elbows that you wore as a badge of courage? Goats bring those memories back. No, not scabby knees, you silly. The spontaneity, the adventure, the love for life we all had as kids. This is what goats awaken in me.

    Their life is punctuated by question marks and exclamation points. There is never a pause line. They see reasons for wonder and satisfaction in everything. They crave novelty more than a dog craves the last piece of his master’s dinner.

    Like a fairy, goats sprinkle a pinch of magic on whoever owns them. And it’s wonderful. I think goats are wonderful. Don’t believe me? Check this one out:

    In the 1980s, a beer-drinking goat was elected mayor of Lajitas, TX.

    You see, some do share my sentiment.