Why I Write: Melanie Meyer

I have always had an insatiable thirst to write. Writing is simply my therapy for life; it is what grounds me, enlivens me, and fills me when nothing else does. Although I wrote some in high school and college and have always journaled, I didn’t really take off with my creative, non-academic writing until a little over a year ago when I was working at a mind numbing, tedious day job in a boring call center environment. One day at work, I ended up writing a poem, and from there took off with my poetry, as I desperately needed a creative outlet to cope with the work environment.

I started taking several poetry classes from UW Madison’s Division of Continuing Studies. The poetry that came out of these courses and that I wrote on my own helped me grow tremendously as a writer and thinker. Just a few months ago, I decided to try my hand at flash fiction. I was new to the genre but quickly found myself working on my flash pieces constantly. “Picasso Painting,” my story that was accepted for publication in Fiction Southeast, was something that grew out of the final unit of a flash fiction course.

I have written approximately 10 flash fiction pieces and over 100 poems in the past year. I am also currently working on some longer short stories and hoping to someday finish a novel. One of the only pieces of rejection mail I have received so far was from a journal in Alabama that objected to my use of raw language. I try not to censor myself in my writing, to try to write what I feel is true to life, even if that means offending or alienating some readers and editors. I do not only write pieces that use racy, sexually explicit language, but many of my pieces do have adult themes and adult language.

My submission to Fiction Southeast was one of the first I have tried to get published. I was thrilled to have it accepted for publication, and I hope that it is just the first of many publications as I continue to grow as a writer. I plan to continue taking classes at UW Madison and one day apply for an MFA program in creative writing, either in the category of poetry or fiction. I think of both my mother and grandmother when I write. Both of them have or had a love of words and have served as inspiration. My mother has always believed in my writing, and I am grateful to her and to my father and grandfather for encouraging me to write even when I experienced self-doubt.

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About Melanie Meyer

Melanie Meyer lives in Middleton, Wisconsin. She is completing her MFA in Creative Writing at National University while caring full time for her beautiful infant daughter.