Saturday, May 18, 2019

Growing into the Writer We Were Designed to Be

by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

This is the time of year when the results of the crepe myrtle slaughter become obvious for all to see. For you folks up north, the crepe myrtle is a multi-stemmed tree that produces vibrant flowers from late spring to fall. In early spring a few well-meaning gardeners chop the tree down to ugly stubs, exposing only the trunk, ruining the natural form, and resulting in spindly branches too weak to hold up the flowers that begin to bloom in May or June. 

In May, a butchered crepe myrtle looks like several long stumps holding a bowl of lettuce. As a Master Gardener, I have to turn my head when I see the results. It’s always sad when a reason for being is denied.

Some kind soul started the trend. I suspect he or she was not at all familiar with the characteristics of the southern tree and attempted to squeeze the fifteen to twenty-foot specimen into a space much smaller than its size. Others obviously saw and copied. Habits can form for no reason other than the trend at the time.

God’s beautiful creation is often a springboard to life’s lessons. Nature speaks to us and, if we listen, brings home truths that otherwise would be lost. In the crepe myrtle slaughter, I see the innocent acceptance of ideas that changes a reason for being. The once majestic tree, meant to soar high into the sky, is cut back to dwarf-like size and robbed of the characteristics it was made for.

It reminds me of my writing in the early days, and often now as I succumb to my own pressure to be published. We forget who we are and why we write.  In my humble opinion, the truly great writers glide past public opinion and politically correctness and, while constantly perfecting their craft, write from their heart words and stories placed there by God. While no proposal should announce that, “God gave me this story,” that truth should be the underlying fact behind each written word. 

Ever so often we just have to separate ourselves from that rejection letter and listen to that small voice inside. For some, we turn from the pack, and tell that story we were born to tell. We allow ourselves to be captured again by the sheer beauty of words woven into story. We stop running, listen, and let the words be a symphony to our souls—draw us out of ourselves into a world of possibilities—a world where trouble lurks but hope resides.

This year I’ll be attending Blue Ridge Christian Writer’s Conference, after an absence of a few years. I’ll bring business cards, my computer, and anticipation for what I’m about to learn about my craft. Unlike past years, I’ll leave behind great expectations. For me it will be respite time away from my life as caregiver. I’ll get lost in the excitement in the air and the sheer joy of learning from giants in the industry. I’ll try not to worry about what I left at home. It will be a time of rest and redefinition of purpose. 

Only when we know why God has called us to write can we know what He has called us to write. Sometimes we just have to take time to remember not to chop off that which belongs and, instead, let it grow to its full potential.


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. Ms. Emme, your encouraging words moved my heart this morning ma'am. We must write what God puts on our heart indeed ma'am. Please enjoy and grow at BRMCWC this week my friend. God's blessings.

  2. Oh thank you dear Emme. Remembering why God called us to write so that we may write what He wants. A true gift to my soul this morning. May His blessing be upon you at Blue Ridge. In Christ, Julie

  3. This is great! A neighbor convinced me to do what you describe to four crepe myrtles that lined up across my front yard. They looked sad and dejected, and of course I regretted it. Luckily, they did finally return to being what they were meant to be - just as writers sometimes go off-path before discovering just what God is calling us to do.

  4. Remembering who we are writing for and how He has given us the gift of writing can bring much needed comfort.

  5. Lovely post. Thank you for sharing your heart and such wise words.