Monday, October 13, 2008

MIA for a Season

Much like last week's post by KL, I've recently gone through some soul searching myself. Am I on the right track with my writing? Am I being selfish in demanding time to devote to my passion at the expense of my family? Is my being an author on God's radar?

Tough questions, even tougher to actually face. So, I set out on a journey of self-discovery, of sorts. A temporary job opportunity plopped itself on my lap offering to let me be a fill-in secretary for our 4-H organization. Now, if you know me at all, I love 4-H and can spend an entire blog itself on just that topic. But that's not my mission today, so you'll have to tune in again : )

The challenges of being in the workplace again were very stimulating. I had tasks to perform under deadline, the public to greet with constant humor, and generally easing back into the working world. I loved my days, but I came home exhausted. Too exhausted to write. This concerned me. How was I to do God's bidding, if indeed He intended to make me a published author, if I didn't write?

I prayed, but didn't hear an answer.

Four months later, our regular secretary decided to retire, so I was offered the position permanently. Talk about a bizarre mix of excitement and apprehension! Lord, what will You have me do??

Again, silence on the line.

Well, I accepted the position and focused on being the best Administrative Assistant I could be. I learned a lot. I worked a lot. I laughed a lot. I didn't really try to wedge writing into my already full life -- oh did I mention my husband owns a painting company for which I continue to also secretary, and we have two teenagers, one graduated this last May and is in college?

My prayer life filled to capacity.

I neglected my writing duties. I felt badly, but you know what? I also found out who my friends were.

Take a moment and visit Seekerville and meet 14 of the most giving ladies to ever create a blog (I'm the 15th, hee). Fine advice and humor abound with the ladies of Seekerville and I find myself most fortunate they love me even when I go MIA.

Then, of course, you've already found the Five Scribes home and met the ladies who also love me as they sprinkle words of wisdom across blog pages about the Ups and Downs of the writing world. Leslie Ann, Donnell, Theresa, Kerri-Leigh and MIA-me, do our best to shed light on fiction and screenwriting across genres.

Both blogs are exceptional and vividly illuminate the trials and triumphs of the writer's life. Anyway, along this journey, God did speak to my heart and He did assure me I had something to write about. Who am I to argue when He graciously provides the story??

So, now I've reaffirmed my marriage vows to God and my writing. I've too many thoughts and book reviews to share. Come back again, and often, and share moral support whenever the good Lord moves you : )

Blessing to you all!!!



KL Grady said...

Audra, you're such an inspiration. I'm so glad you're back and ready to write. Bring on the prose!

Donnell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Donnell said...

Wow! Oh, wow, Audra, I'm so happy you're back. And human, and willing to share such powerful insights. I'd say it's both groups, The Seekers and The Five Scribes that are blessed with your presence. Thank you!

P.S. Sometimes God whispers, and has us do something different to refill the well. I can't wait for you to bring to your writing what He's been telling you.

Sorry for the double post ;) late night writing ;)

Theresa said...

I'm so happy you're back writing--but for selfish reasons, here. I know all of us want to be bestselling authors, not so much for the fame and money--though that'll be great too-- but because we want to touch as many people as possible with our stories.

I am thrilled you're back writing, 'cause unlike the public, I don't have to wait as long to be awed and entertained by your stories. You are so talented in a variety of ways (I won't embarrass you and list them all here) and writing is only a fraction of them--but one I've missed and look forward to enjoying again.

KL's right. You are a wonderful inspiration and we are blessed to have you in our lives--writing or not. Life, our own psyches, stubbornness, and pride often get in my way. In you, I find a great reminder that we need to cut ourselves a little bit of slack and allow God to guide us.

I firmly believe that God has a master plan to maximize the talents He has given us. This control freak just wishes He'd speak a little louder, be a little more obvious in sharing and clarifying His goals for me.

Then again, perhaps I wouldn't fall in line with his plans as easily as I'd like to think I would should I know His grand scheme, so perhaps I need to take a page from your book. When frustration and impatience overwhelm me, I need to learn to patiently accept and find more joy in the journey. To trust in God as you do.

Thanks for the solid gold example, Audra!

Audra Harders said...

Man, you guys are making me blush : )

KL, thanks for your continued support even as you have responsibilities hammering you from every direction. Your posts always seem to hit home in my heart.

Donnell, thanks for the encouragement and understanding. It's a hard lesson to learn, especially when we like to think we plan our own schedules, but I became tired of being a salmon. Swimming upstream against the flow wore me out. It's time to sit back and listen.

Hey T! Have you come back from CB energized? The Lord has blessed you with such insight into people and character traits. I always appreciate having you read my drafts for the questions you pose that I never seem to anticipate : ) Did that make sense??

Thanks for everyone's patience with my hiatus. It's great to be back : ) !!

Leslie Ann said...

Audra, Wow.
I'm so happy, selfishly I admit, that you've reaffirmed your marriage vows to writing, and to God. You have so much to offer.

You've been a friend forever and it started with our writing. Our friendship would continue even if you stopped writing, but you give me so much as a writing buddy...see selfish here...and your insights into story and character are so good that I've been sorely missing that part of our friendship.

Write on, MIA, you've got a lot to give and the world is waiting :)

Audra Harders said...

Thanks, Leslie : ) I gotta tell you guys, the first time I met Leslie was at my very first meeting at a Colorado Romance Writers meeting. I sat down next to her and discovered she was from the Boulder area, too. Then I asked if she knew anything about local critique groups, and Voila! she asked around during the meeting and we ended up joining the same group.

Ahh, true destiny : )

So, Les, would you please sell a screenplay so I can then ride your coattails and sell a book???

Just a thought. . . : )

Leslie Ann said...

Working on it, Babe. But I'm thinking you'll sell first and I can ride on YOUR coattails!


KL Grady said...

Regardless of who's riding which coattails, my film options are going to come with the caveat that THE Leslie Sartor will write the adaptation. And then we'll see if she does her own version of the movie Adaptation. ;)