Okay, letís get one thing straight, thatís Goat Writer, not Ghost Writer, someone who writes a story for someone else who would really like to write, but the gift and endurance to do it isnít there. Itís also not Goat Rider. Very few people can find a goat large enough to ride, though they do put them in harness and drive them, or they can accidentally ride one over the hill, such as I did one day. But, this is about Goat Writers. Those brave souls who attempt to write and share their wisdom, knowledge, and what wit they have left after raising goats, to the rest of the world.
To be a steady, continuous Goat Writer you have to want to be one thing, a writer. You want to write. You also have this desire to want people to read what you write. The next thing a regular writer has to do is decide what he wants to write about. Itís best to write about what you have experienced or have thoroughly studied to be a nonfiction writer. Then, if you want to be a fiction writer, you still have to do a great deal of research to make things realistic in your fiction story.
The next thing you have to have after wanting to be a writer and choosing what you want to write about, you have to have grit. That is, be able to pump out a story every month, or every week, or sit down and work on your project every day. Inspiration is wonderful, but a lot of times you donít feel inspired, and the story still has a deadline. So, writing is work, like a nine to five job, you have to do it once you have said you will do it. Show up at your desk or keyboard no matter what and get the job done.
I started out over thirty years ago writing. I wanted to write books - mysteries, science fiction. I have four or five books sitting around collecting dust now for a good many years. Thirty years ago you wrote your book and sent it around to the publishers, one publisher at a time because they got insulted if you sent it to two or three or more publishers at a time. Plus, the manuscript had to be typewritten, no personal computers back then, sent in a good box with a cover letter on the best stationary paper and preferably with a letter head, and the stamps to mail it back to you when they were finished if they didnít like it, plus you must send a SASE so if they did like it or they just wanted to let you know how dreadful it really was or, after months they just hadnít had time to even read it, and they wanted the SASE to get to you fast and eventually your tired manuscript shows up a week or two later.
Then they informed you that you would have a better chance of a publishing house reading it if you were already published. I was a worthless short story writer and the competition to getting your short story published was even more intense than trying to get your book published. But, I could do How-Toís, articles that explained how to do something with pictures to do with it. I have a natural bent to wanting to teach people things, I like doing that.
So, for the next eleven or so years I sold How-Toís to horse magazines, home repair magazines, etc, receiving $150-$225 an article. I even did pay for hire to Popular Mechanics where you lost all your rights to your story and photos you did, but you get an instant $1000, which back then was a fantastic amount of money to get, instantly to pay the bills. Well, to me now it would be a fantastic amount of money. And, yes, I had to learn to be a photographer and Lee helped me develop my own black and whites to send out and back then for color you sent slides. I loved photography but it wasnít my calling as it was to some folks. I was doing all this while my book was slowly making itís way around to publishers.
Then publishers starting refusing the books because their slush pile was growing too large and said to get an agent. For a while agents charged you $50 or more to read your book before they would approach a publisher with it. I quit sending my books around after 11 years. Iím sure things would be so much different now with the personal computer age. Years ago I wrote my books and articles on a manual typewriter and really felt like I was the catís meow when I could afford a classy electric typewriter and then a word processor. And, you depended on the regular mail to get articles and books to any editor or publisher, not your email.
Thinking about it, Iíve spent the longest amount of time at a job where you would make the smallest amount of money at in trying to a known writer. And, yet, there is that drive to write. Then next came that drive to raise fantastic little animals called goats. Do you think that drive is hereditary to continue making as small amount of money as possible? When at first learning to raise goats, remember, donít quit your day job. So, whatever, wherever your heart goes, there you follow, and goats are a whole pack of work and a whole lot of fun.
To be a goat writer you can chose to be a serious writer that helps people raise their goats, keep them healthy, how to run it like a business, all very important. Or, you can be like me and keep getting the giggles at all the things you and these animals can get into, and then you have to write about it. Amazing enough, when something funny has happened and I share it, I get comments back from folks on how much they have learned from me in raising goats. The only thing I can figure is what you have learned from me what not to do.
The next thing in writing about sweet funny things about goats is it doesnít have to be some grandiose story, life changing, mind altering. Take Red Hot Sally, one of the oldest Angora goats we had ever owned. Who knows her age when we got her, but she was tough as nails and protected her kid each year. Anyone treat her kid wrong and she became Sally the Terminator.
One day I was in her kidding stall putting iodine on her kidís belly button. Angoras usually only have one kid and they are just dolls, looking like poodles with all those wringlets of hair. Sally was staring at me and then her attention jerked upward and with one swift powerful hit of some very large horns, she smashed a spider crawling on the wall near her baby.
I felt both honored and a bit fearful after seeing that. Her baby was everything to her, yet she allowed me to handle it, trusting me to take care of the kid, but also not allowing anything else no matter how large or small to get near her kid. Up to that point it had never occurred to me that the goat caretaker could be in danger of handling some doesí kids. After that I was always very cautious with each new doe to see just how she would react to me with her kids.
So, as I thump away on my keyboard on this goat story, my right hand is swollen to twice itís size, fingers like big fat sausages, all from a sting of some very angry insect, and my knee is aching because I did who knows what to it while catching a goat, I am reminded that wind, nor rain, nor sleet, nor black and blue body, not even an exceedingly long sentence is allowed to stop this goat writer from writing about those funny cute creatures called goats.