Write to bring others closer to God.
I received this message loud and clear in 2000.
For the next 19 years, I wrote.
- I wrote devotionals about my journey with God and collected them together in books.
- I wrote a novella based on a true story.
- I wrote non-fiction books to improve spiritual and physical health.
- I wrote children’s activity books to help them learn about the Bible.
But although I wrote to bring others closer to God, I also wanted to earn an income doing so
I had been laid off from my job as an employment counsellor (ironic, I know). I also had lost all my personal training clients when we moved to a new town.
I wanted this new gig as a writer to work out financially.
My husband was gracious to carry the financial burden for the family while I hotly pursued this new writing career.
I organized webinars, teleconferences, and podcasts. I spoke at women’s retreats, churches, and writer’s conferences. I created health challenges and e-courses.
I put into practice everything I learned from the gurus. But after it was all done and said, I didn’t earn enough money to continue as I was. Our line of credit was growing and we were digging deeper into debt. My husband had done well to keep us afloat but it just wasn’t enough for our family’s growing needs.
It was time I found full-time permanent employment
In 2016, God blessed me with a good job that paid well. Our line of credit was paid off, and we were able to move to a new home to help support our daughter with her two young ones.
But my mindset to earn money while writing was still deeply ingrained.
In January 2019, I joined Medium and immediately signed on for the Medium Partner Program to “earn for my work”. I was thrilled to receive income the first month; enough to cover the $5 fee to purchase a Medium membership so I could have unlimited access to all the stories.
The next month, I doubled my income. The third month, I tripled it. I was seeing exponential earnings each month. Some of my stories were getting curated. My followers were growing to match as many writers as I was following.
As exciting as this all is to be earning money from my writing in a way that I hadn’t seen in years, it’s a lot of work.
For all the time I take to write, edit, and market a story, I have not yet hit earnings of $100 in a month.
All the hours I put into writing does not earn as much in a month as I earn in a day at my full-time job.
So this brings me back to the beginning.
Originally my calling was to bring others closer to God through my writing. I want to be obedient to my call. I want to continue to write but with this motivation only.
I want to lose the drive to write for income only.
I want to be detached from claps. Aloof to highlights. Unflappable to curators.
But how? After striving and straining and working so hard to earn an income from my writing, how do I now just write for the sport of it?
How do I continue to be motivated to write when there’s not a financial need for it? I’m afraid that I will not care to write every day, to read other’s pieces, to market and share my work across social networks if I release the drive to earn money.
Why write if I don’t have to? Why work at sharing my stories with the world if it doesn’t put food on the table?
Because I can’t not write.
I write to share what I learn. I write to sort my thoughts. I write because I’m a writer.
God didn’t call me to write to earn money. He called me to write to bring others closer to Him.
This gig on Medium allows me the vehicle to do just that. If I ever just reach one person for Him that should be enough motivation for me to keep writing.
God loves me. He gave me the gift to write. He wants me to enjoy His gift. There are no strings attached. He doesn’t want me to worry about claps, comments, and payouts.
He wants me to write to share what I learn, to sort out my thoughts, to enjoy the process.
From here on in that is my plan. I will glorify God by enjoying the process.
“Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” (Luke 8:39, NIV)
Kimberley Payne’s writing relates raising a family, pursuing a healthy lifestyle, and everyday experiences to building a relationship with God. Through her work, Kimberley hopes to inspire women to live healthier lives that glorify God.