“I now had a greater purpose in my writing. One purpose to be exact- to glorify God.”
Have you ever wondered where writers find the time to put their thoughts on paper? While you may imagine writers sitting around with nothing to do but… well… write, the truth is that the lives of our favorite writers are often just as hectic as ours. This can certainly be said for Melissa Presser, who worked as a criminal justice attorney for twelve years and now spends her days working for her local police department as a representative for the Chief of Police. She is also a mommy, and loves spending time with her three beautiful children, who are ages 5, 5, and 4. In spite of everything she has on her plate, Melissa still makes time to write about her Christian faith.
“I am chasing after my God-sized dream to be a full time writer for His glory,” Melissa shares. Growing up in a Jewish home, Melissa became a follower of Jesus Christ relatively recently, and is now passionate about sharing her newfound faith with others. “My husband was saved shortly after me and my kids are now lovers of the Lord as well,” she is proud to announce.
Unfortunately, it was an extremely painful experience which first inspired her to write. “My recovery first inspired me to be a Christian writer,” she explains. “After going through a bible-based recovery group for sexual abuse victims, I realized that after being healed from my past abuse and its effects on my life, my dream of becoming a writer had been unearthed. I now had a greater purpose in my writing. One purpose to be exact- to glorify God.”
When looking for new material, Melissa does her best to listen for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. “God tests me a lot in this regard,” shares Melissa. “Am I going to write what I want or what He wants? This has been a great learning process for me but a needed one. I only write when the spirit moves me.”
When asked about her Christian faith, Melissa stated that it was the basis for all of her writing projects. “Ultimately, I pray that in everything I write Christ is glorified. Without Christ, there would be no purpose or inspiration and my success would be based on the world’s standards.”
Melissa also finds inspiration in other Christian authors. “God inspires me, since He wrote the most amazing Book ever published,” the author smiles. “And as for human artists, I am a big fan of Stormie Omartian. I love how real and practical her books are and I have found them so helpful in my journey.”
A surprising number of writers struggle with depression, and this is something that Melissa experienced first-hand. “Before I came to Christ, my writing would be predicated on my mood,” she explains. “I could only write when I was deeply depressed, and unfortunately for me, that was very often. I had to be in pain to write. Now that Christ has delivered me from depression, I am able to write free and uninhibited, although I do find that my best work still comes from my most difficult situations.”
Melissa wholeheartedly agrees that art has the power to change lives, and believes that a work of art has the ability to change not only the life of the consumer, but the life of the artist as well. “People are afraid to reach out and share their pain,” she says. “They think that they are the only one experiencing it. When you see a piece of art or writing that tells your story, it changes something in you. You see that you are not alone. I have read and seen so many pieces and thought that.”
As far as selling her work, Melissa currently works as a freelance writer. Her writing can also be found at her blog, Work for the Cause Not the Applause, and says that her blog articles are free to reproduce as long as credit is notated. She is also currently working on a creative non-fiction book detailing her journey to Christ, which will be available for purchase in the near future.
If you’d like a sample of Melissa’s work, you can visit the website for a newspaper she contributes to regularly entitled GoodNews Florida. The following link will allow you to read through Melissa’s article on the controversial topic of how Christian parents should react if their child decides to pursue a homosexual lifestyle, and how to go about remaining steadfast in your faith while also loving your children: http://goodnewsfl.org/dv/2014-10-Broward/index.html#/34/
You can also read Melissa’s “break-out” piece, in which she explores what it means to wrestle with God, showing how many times we are really wrestling with ourselves: http://workforthecausenottheapplause.com/2015/01/15/wrestling-with-god/
Finally, Melissa offers this advice to her fellow Christian writers: “Put away every article, blog post or piece of advice you have ever gotten from anyone about being a successful writer,” she suggests. “If God has ordained it, it will happen. We have to remember that our success is never measured by the number of followers we have, likes we get or books we sell, but by our obedience to tell the stories God has assigned to us.”
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Are you a Christian artist or writer who would like to be featured as part of my Christian Artist Series? Simply send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org today for a brief list of interview questions.