Holly Payne’s stories inspire, awaken and enrich her audiences and she looks forward to speaking to groups on any topic, including her signature talks.
Broken Open: Learning to Forgive
It took Holly Payne 15 years to respond to a letter asking for forgiveness from the man who struck her on a mountain road and left her unable to walk for nearly a year. Rather than write a letter, she wrote him the award-winning book, Kingdom of Simplicity, with the hope that he would one day be able to forgive himself. Payne did not intend to write about this incident as non-fiction, believing she could ‘hide’ her injuries behind fiction. Instead, the truth emerged during the storytelling process; she had to confront her demons regarding forgiveness. Writing to forgive the driver became a way of being broken open—to new perspectives on what it means to heal.
Creativity and Perseverance
Writing is an endurance sport, as is almost any long-term creative endeavor. Holly Payne’s many years training and competing as a swimmer and triathlete have lead her to see the often humorous connection to writing a novel and being an entrepreneur. It takes a daily practice, adequate periods of recovery, and a constant supply of “creative nutrition” to stimulate and inspire the work. Without doubt, there will be injuries—in the case of creativity, the ego suffers most and it’s that very battle that perseverance will win, if you’re willing to go the extra mile.
The Wisdom of Rejection
The very nature of creativity is wrought with resistance. But this is good news! It’s an inevitable and necessary part of the process that gives our creativity value. There is no way around rejection but through it. It is a necessary step to our success. The wise view rejection as an opportunity to improve their work and their craft, and ultimately as an invitation to evolve. Resistance is what gives form value and helps us build our endurance so that we can continue to create again and again, no matter how long it takes.
In addition to bookstore readings, Holly has spoken for the following organizations:
- Tuckahoe Women’s Club, Richmond, Virginia (Nov. 2012)
- Writers Digest Conference, New York
- Litquake, San Francisco’s Annual Literary Festival
- San Francisco Writers Conference
- Modern Times Lit Club, Fayetteville, Arkansas
- The Hamlin School for Girls Graduation Luncheon
- Marin Academy Festival of Authors
- Crested Butte Writers Conference, Colorado
- Pennsylvania Library Council Annual Conference
- University of Richmond, Virginia
- Rotary, San Rafael Chapter, East Bay, Lucas Valley
- St. Luke’s Presbeterian Church, San Rafael, California
- Westminster Church, Tiburon, California
- California Writers Club, North Bay Chapter
- California Writers Club, South Bay Chapter
- Contra Costa Times Book Club Gala