Mélanie Berliet is an immersive journalist and author who has written rich pieces about her experiences—the shadow and the light—for publications like Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, Cosmopolitan, Elle and Esquire.
When I first discovered her work, I was enamored. Enthralled. Seduced. I spent hours online devouring her writing.
I thought she would be perfect for this interview series. When we agreed to meet at Kaffe 1668 in Manhattan, she told me that at the start of her writing career was the revelation that she should enjoy what she does.
“Our day-to-day existence is so dictated by our occupation,” she told me. “For a long time, I didn’t think too much about what really interested me, but then I started to pay attention to what I was doing in my free time, which was reading and writing constantly—and I wondered if I could make it into a career.”
That was her first step. She persevered, putting her work out there and applying to different magazines and publications.
“Some of my most successful pieces were initially rejected,” she said. “It’s hard to be a writer, making no money to start. But if you want it badly enough I do believe you can make it happen. It takes perseverance.”
But she doesn’t spend energy worrying about what people think of her.
“I got an up close look at how short and fragile life is [when my sister died], and it doesn’t fucking matter what people think,” she told me. “When you take risks in your work, it’s going to touch people more. I didn’t realize that for a long time, but I was internalizing it. Do I think about what my parents would say, people ask me? I don’t give that a second thought.”
I am now grateful to call Mélanie a friend, and am so excited to introduce my audience to this amazing woman.
Read on for my interview with her!