On Books, On Family, Other Stuff

BOOK OR BLOG: what’s it to be?

IMG_1337Book or Blog: What’s it to be?

To write or to ski? Are you kidding? That’s not much of choice- at least not for me.

It’s 4.05am. I’ve been awake since 2am. There are people who live out their lives at these sorts of crazy times. Shift workers, nurses and doctors, the early morning radio shows, the uber drivers and others I’m sure ferrying passengers to and fro…

No, I can’t keep doing this, this writing in rhyme,

but somehow this is what gets me out of bed often at this time.

You see I haven’t been writing for a while which is not good. In fact, I believe it accounts for some of my scratchy mood. So I just got up now and here I am,

typing away, trying to put to bed

the words that float around my head.

Time to switch…

Book or blog? As a writer, the choice of writing a blog or adding to my book is often the reason for not writing at all. Before this bloody blog, I could just happily write away and believe that it  all (or at least much of it) contributed to my book. It seemed like a much greater, more worthy cause… a dream to pursue, a goal that I could be proud of. This blog thing is a kind of side- line affair. It feels a little like tugging a distracted toddler along on a walk who will stop and be transfixed by some indistinguishable object lying on the floor. It takes up time that I should use for my writing, it changes the focus of what I want to write about, it attracts blog trolls that creep me out completely because I don’t know how they find me and then I waste time seeing if they really have something to add to my life which of course they don’t. And the bottom line, is that I really have NO CLUE whether writing the blog is helping me at all to establish this essential writer’s platform that us writers have to cultivate.

It’s a flipping nightmare this whole writer, marketer, publishing world cos really what we writers wanna do is just write and not worry about readers and agents and publishers and being rejected and stuff and who’s gonna really care what you have to say, don’t we?

Well here’s why I blog, if you wanna know…

    1. It allows me to write about other stuff that isn’t going into my book.
    2. It gives me something to do at 4 in the morning.
    3. I KNOW that people are reading it which kind of makes it worthwhile, even though it’s really hard to tell exactly HOW MANY cos people are funny like that cos they don’t often like to LIKE your stuff even though they have read it but if you bump into them casually they’ll tell you that ‘Oh I really liked your last blog’ and you wanna bop them on the kop and say ‘Well, then tell me that on the blog please so other people can see you like it and then they’ll like it and then I’ll write more and then one day maybe I’ll be like a famous author like like like…’
    4. Cos I can tell you about skiing and writing in this blog (which I’m sure you’ll find pretty weird cos they don’t really go together which is what I also thought when I was thinking about it all) but it made me come to some valuable conclusions about life.

And family.

So I have just come back from the most incredible family holiday in Europe- which I kind of promised myself I wouldn’t write about in this blog because it’s not really a travel blog (though of course I’ve thought about adding a travel blog) and lotsa people get abit peeved cos you’re lucky enough to go on a fabulous holiday to the snow cos I know I get peeved when I hear about OTHER PEOPLE going on a fabulous holiday to the snow when I’m not – which included travelling on lots of trains with my ten year old and three teens and another guy who was once also a teen and sometimes thinks he still is  and who I happened to marry nearly 22 years ago. Lucky me.


Which included popping into Munich for a morning and beautiful Prague for a short time and walking the cobbled streets and drinking beer in the Old Town Square and looking at the easter parade and watching the puppets pop out of the Astronomical Clock, and listening to church bells ringing out of magnificent cathedrals and eating lots of goulash and other delicious stuff.

And a brief stop off in Salzburg which ended with a well-worth tour in a bus with other Sound of Music lovers which made me cry while I sang the words of Edelweiss and all the others, wondering how I got to be so lucky as to be singing my way around Salzburg in a bus with my three beautiful girls while my other teen and my son walked around the old town, bonding over breakfast and coffee. (I embarrass my children quite a bit with emotional tears.)


But what we really went for was to Ski. And it was this that also took me away from my writing because when I ski, I cannot write about it because I simply don’t have the words to describe how I feel flying down the slopes with the rush of wind at my face and the sound of skies skimming the snow. 


So I sought inspiration. I wanted to know if there was anyone out there that felt about skiing and writing as I did. And how to connect the two, and if there even was a connection. Of course I found books on skiing and how to ski and the 10 best ski books about where to ski but I wanted to know about writing and skiing. And then, lo and behold, my faithful and prolific writer/inspirer/entrepreneur Joanne Penn comes up with two articles on how skiing is like writing ( check one out here: http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2014/11/17/writing-skiing-2/)

But that was also not quite what I was looking for when I thought about this blog about skiing and writing.

Because what I felt was simply this:

The only connection between writing and skiing for me, is that I can now write about the fact that the very best, best, precious, special thing about skiing for me, was that we can now all ski together as a family and that every single moment of our holiday was spent together…down every slope, every day, altogether, all the time…the blues, the reds and even the blacks and that in the evening we would sit together as a family in our jarmies, ready for bed, exhausted after our long days and thank God for our family while elsewhere in the world, like Brussels at the time, others were losing theirs.



And that’s why I blog. Because it allows me to come to conclusions about life. And about family…the most precious thing I have.

10 thoughts on “BOOK OR BLOG: what’s it to be?”

  1. Another thought provoking blog , Niki. Well done for “just doing it” to steal Nike’s words.

  2. I agree – time spent with my family is always when I’m at my happiest and it makes me sad to think that those together times are going to become more rare the older they get. Makes me cherish them even more xx

    1. Thanks for your comment Sharon…so appreciate it. Yes indeed, seize every opportunity you can – I even took my oldest out of university – and he missed test week as a result! – But in the greater scheme of life, it’s meaningless, isn’t it x

  3. Hi Niki, Thanks for this blog, not really on writing or skiing, but all about the sanctity of family. Loved it. Thanks again for bringing in home so forcibly. xxx

  4. Gosh I could resonate with this on EVERY level but especially the absolute joy of doing something together as a family. There’s no other holiday that allows you all to enjoy time together like a ski holiday. Wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing with me 🙂

    1. Delighted that you enjoyed it! Living in Cape Town makes it a little trickier to get to snow as often as we would love. Thanks so much for your read.xx

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