Saturday, December 15, 2018

Playing It Safe Can Sabotage Your Mission as a Writer

by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

When I first started writing, I played it safe. Made sure my words didn’t offend. One size fits all. Everyone goes away happy. Emotions unstirred. Beliefs unchallenged. My readers unchanged. The desire to be liked and accepted spread mediocrity over my writing, stripping it of its power to change the hearts of my readers.  

A combination of the wisdom of age, past experiences, and allowing the regenerative work of our Savior, Jesus Christ to do His work in my life, has opened a vista of light that gives more content to what I have to say. While the journey is long and I still have a long way to grow, being on that path has changed my life and my writing.

People are hurting. Sin has been politicized. The world is looking for answers in all the wrong places. If we broach certain subjects, we are labeled as politically incorrect. So, often, we just don’t go there. Preaching to the choir gives a good read to the Christian but, for the most part, the world isn’t interested in our rhetoric. Our stories, however, cross over into theirworld. Our character’s pain touches their pain. Our character’s wrong choices and journey to redemption and new life is an illustration of a life well-lived. Also true, of characters that refuse to change. The contrast is a bold lesson in life. 

I’m heartened to see that many Christian novelists are broaching the hard subjects in their writing. Francine Rivers is one writer who broke through taboos by writing, The Atonement Child, the story of the rape of a Christian woman, and her decision to keep her baby. By allowing the reader to get into the mind of a woman facing such a choice, and presenting God’s viewpoint, while also describing the devastating emotional pain that accompanied that choice, Ms. Rivers became a Gospel-motivated voice. 

Not all of us are called to delve into hard subjects in our writing. But, if we are, are we willing to say yes? Isaiah was given that same challenge. This was his response: “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!”

Christmas is a wonderful reminder that God doesn’t play it safe. He sent His angel to a young virgin-women who was human like us. He asked her to bear the sinless Son of God. That Savior who would one day suffer and die and pay the price for our sins. And then rise again so that, by believing in Him, we can not only live forever in heaven with Him, but experience His life and power while here on earth. 

Mary could have said no. But, even though she risked the possibility of being ridiculed and stoned to death, she took a chance on God’s mission for her life. She said yes and trusted God with the circumstances. The virgin bore God’s Son, who became her Savior and those of us who believe. 

Christmas is a reminder of the power of saying yes to God. When we do, miracles always happen.


Emme Gannon is a wife, mother, and grandmother who loves to write stories that stir the heart. Her award-winning writing has appeared in Focus on the Family magazine, several anthologies, and numerous newsletters. She just completed her first novel.


  1. Amen Ms. Emme. If we are to follow God's leading in our writing, then we must be willing to say "Yes Father" to the difficult things to write about also. His calling is not solely to do our will, but His. Well said ma'am. God's blessings and Merry CHRISTmas!

    1. Thank you for your encouragement, Jim. You are so right. His will always.

  2. Emme, you've given me confirmation to keep working on my new book. It's the hardest book I've ever tackled. And I've chosen to do it in an era that was not as forgiving and open as now. Thank you for your post.

  3. I truly know how you feel. We know what God’s stirring of the heart feels like. It’s scary to say yes, but we know He will equip us for that to which He has called. I hold you in prayer. I believe God is raising up those who are willing to be His mouthpiece of truth in a world living in darkness. Bless you, friend.

  4. Good advice, Emme. We do our gift and our faith a serious disservice by hiding under a bushel.

  5. Absolutely true, Ramona. It’s often not easy, but essential to living out our calling from God. Blessings.