“How in the world can he listen to all that whining?”
“Don’t go down into the basement where you hear all the weird noises while you’re the only one in the house!”
Hi All! Audra here. Do these thoughts sound familiar? Did you ever mentally, if not verbally, scream those sentiments at fiction plots that frustrated you more than entertained?
Ever read a book by a best-selling author and wonder why it ever got published?
Have you ever tossed a book on the table, shake your head and declare, “I can write better than this!”
Lo, and behold, another author is born.
From the moment the kernel of an idea formed in my head that I could write a book, so too did the dreams of my future life blossom. When I began my writing journey, I was a stay-at-home mom. To me, this was a sign. I was already working from home (LOL), why not fill my time writing brilliant prose rather than following the ageless characters of my favorite soap, General Hospital…the neverending saga of Luke and Laura irritated me just as much the highly acclaimed novel I had just pitched across the living room.
So I wrote while the kids napped. I wrote while I waited at lessons, took them swimming at the lake, and friends came over to play. I knew I had the perfect opportunities to become an author, after all, look at all the time I had to write!
Okay, so you’ve decided the life of a book writer is for you. What now? Do you sit endlessly at the computer, pushing aside all distractions and interruptions all for the sake of seeing your inspired words in print? Do you barricade yourself with an office only coming up for air when you need another cup of coffee and the bathroom? Do you tell the rest of the world to leave you alone; you’re creating a masterpiece?
Some folks do. Some are so bent on their mission they forget to listen to the still, small voice that angled them down the road toward publication in the first place. They forget to continually ask God for direction.
They know their calling and, by gum, they’re not going to let anything get in their way.
And they’re missing out on God’s life lessons along the way.
A critique partner of mine once (actually many times) told me I catered to my kids and their friends way too much…yes, children are only young for a little while, but time marched on for adults too, and that I shouldn’t let MY life slip away.
I thought about that for all of 3 seconds before dismissing it completely. This IS my life’s calling. God gave me kids to fill my home with laughter, fighting, wonder and so much more. I learned from interacting with my kids and their friends what rapid fire emotions are all about and just how resilient children can be. They've taught me so much.
Hence, children are always featured in my books.
I had another writer friend harp on me for spending too much time involved in volunteer positions. Good grief, when was I ever going to have time to write?
All the volunteer hours I spent at our church are gifted back to me hundred times over. If it wasn’t for being chairman of a couple of committees, I never would have learned how to conduct meetings, present factual arguments to board for approval -- and when I chaired our Evangelism Board -- how much I loved telling the world of Jesus’ saving grace.
A few years ago, the secretary of the 4-H program needed to take a leave of absence and the Extension Office asked if I could help out for a few months. Hmmm, I hadn’t worked outside the home since I’d gotten married. The kids were still home. I’m a writer, not a secretary. BUT, I couldn’t resist playing 4-H all day long, LOL! Besides, it was only for 3 months. How could I say no?
Well, 3 months expanded to 6 months and they eventually offered the full time position to me. NOW, I had a decision to make – stay home and write books and continue to care for the home, or go back to work full time? Obviously it was a family decision and with a lot of prayer, we chose the job.
Juggling family, job and writing have been tricky at times, but God is faithful. At my day job, I have unlimited resources at my fingertips for the research of agriculture, ranching, and farming I could ever ask for. I’m met tons of interesting people whose personalities fill the pages of my books with unique perspectives. I love the interaction of the supportive and encouraging folks at my office who were thrilled and proud of my first sale.
They put the fun and party into my first booksigning.
When I decided to go back to work, I all but shelved my dreams of publication. After all, I’d chosen to forfeit my days of writing and I came home too tired to write much more than drivel – at first. As I got into the swing of the 40+ work week, so too did God stretch my time to accommodate HIS work. He’d handed me resources, support and an incredible cheering section – along with a paycheck to help pay for my habit : ).
I now know everything you’ve ever wanted to know about running a County Fair, but were afraid to ask (which by the way, is underway as we speak!!) ; how to make awesome milkshakes; the basics of more computer software than I ever would have thought possible.
AND along the way, God fulfilled my dream – I sold my first book to Love Inspired. I look forward to writing many more books filled with cowboys, ranchers and of course, kids!
The moral of this story? Set your eyes on Him and He will give you the desires of your heart. Share your story with us today and a lucky commentor will receive an ebook download of Rocky Mountain Hero, the first published book God blessed me.
Audra Harders writes “rugged stories with heart” featuring cowboys who haven’t a clue about relationships rescued by ladies who think they have all the answers. In real life, she’s married to her own patient hero, has two teenagers leaving the nest, and is surrounded by everything conducive to writing about farming, ranching and cowboys at her day job in the county Extension office. She began writing right after her son was born and sold her first book to Steeple Hill Love Inspired mere months before that same son graduated from high school. Surviving those years in between remind her God does have her plan for her life…and that He has a tremendous sense of humor. You can visit her at her website and her blog. Don’t be shy!