My name is Kimberley Payne and I am a writer.
I won my first award for writing as a grade 4 student. I had entered the Legion’s poetry contest and won second prize. I remember having to stand in front of a small audience to read my poem–it felt both freeing and frightening.
I kept a journal of all my trips camping with my family and my two-week stint in Quebec during a student exchange in grade ten. I still have these journals.
I also uncovered a romance story that I had written to amuse my girlfriend in high school. Each week, I wrote a chapter with a new adventure. They’re so embarrassing to read now as an adult!
In my dark days, I wrote poetry. I’ve kept many of these poems – mainly as reminders of how difficult life is as a teenager. Many speak on suicide and my continuous battle with depression.
Pen pals were seen as lifelines. I would write up to ten pages detailing my life and couldn’t wait to receive a new letter in the mail from around the world. I especially liked to read about my cousin’s life in the Netherlands.
I wrote for the school newspaper but focused mainly on creating fun things like word jumbles and crossword puzzles.
I wrote poems for special events like birthdays,weddings, and anniversaries. My mom kept some of these, but I wish that I had kept my own.
But writing was seen as a hobby; something done for fun. I attended Wilfrid Laurier University and graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration. I’m certain that my essays in philosophy helped my overall grade-point average. Some friends questioned why I didn’t major in Philosophy or Psychology instead of Business!
Upon graduation, I worked many temporary jobs until I landed work as a Career Counsellor. Again, my writing skills helped with working on case notes for my clients.
After six years, I was laid off, moved, and started a new life. This included a new job – self-employment as a personal fitness trainer. I loved developing my advertising and marketing plans for the business and coming up with fun names for some of my workshops.
But still, writing was part of all my other jobs…not a job in itself. Not until I moved once again, left my business, my family and friends and went to Orillia, Ontario where I found God and found my true call in life. I remember the tear-filled afternoon in 2001 when the Holy Spirit impressed on my heart that I am a writer.
In 2003, I attended my first writer’s conference in Guelph, Ontario called God Uses Ink (now Write Canada). Stepping onto the beautiful grounds at Guelph Bible Conference Centre and meeting other writers like myself, I exclaimed,
“I am home.”
I’ve attended Canada’s largest conference for Christians who write every year since then.