University of New Mexico student Meg Vlaun is no stranger to hard work; a writer and mother of two with a job tutoring at Central New Mexico Community College and two master's degrees and aspirations for a third in tow, she possesses that rare quality which separates a good writer from the greats — drive and determination.
Vlaun splits her time between her numerous commitments, including a new volunteer position as an editor on Limina: UNM Nonfiction Review. Through determination, she’s thrived across the board in her work.
Having published one of her essays in Limina’s most recent edition, Vlaun found the publication to be the perfect fit for her as an editor. Vlaun was a natural choice as editor, according to Limina editor-in-chief Zara Roy.
“What struck me most about Meg (aside from her tremendous writing ability) was her unbridled passion for writing and her upbeat, compassionate nature which shined through brightly — even in a 15-minute job interview. I have enjoyed every second of working with her. She tackles her workload at Limina head-on and with eagerness, and I couldn’t imagine the team this year without her,” Roy wrote to the Daily Lobo.
Vlaun holds two master’s degrees, one in human resources and another in literature. She hopes to apply to the master of fine arts program in creative nonfiction at UNM.
“I’ve traveled a lot, but I’ve only just realized that I like to write — I’ve written my whole life, but I’ve only realized that I like to write for people to read … If I did the MFA here, it would be my third master’s, but our life might not permit for that to be a thing anyway, so we’ll see how that goes,” Vlaun said.
With her oldest daughter now driving, Vlaun, a mother of two, has been able to better focus on her creative pursuits. As a writer of creative nonfiction, her works often explore her relationships to family, especially related to raising children.
“(Parenting) was definitely a broken cog for me growing up, and now I have kids of my own, so I’ve done so much reading on parenting and psychology … So parenting just comes back for me over and over again. It’s a good universal theme, especially as a mother and for moms out there,” Vlaun said.
Her children and husband are her biggest supporters, though they have different attitudes toward being incorporated in her work, according to Vlaun.
“My son was so excited to be a major character … My daughter is really artsy, she’s a feeler and a creative, so she reads my stuff and she’s probably one of my biggest supporters … It’s been complicated because my husband is super private, so for him, there’s this anxiety of me sharing things about our family and about him, so we’re balancing that,” Vlaun said.
In addition to raising two daughters and studying creative writing, Vlaun also tutors at CNM, which allows her the time to write on top of her other commitments.
“I taught composition I and II at Northern Virginia Community College and then at Minot State University before we moved here, but after I got the job tutoring at CNM and realized how much time it gave me, I was like, it may be minimum wage, I may not be doing exactly what I want to do, but I get to write,” Vlaun said.
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Spenser Willden is the culture editor at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @spenserwillden