“I’d love to start a movement of confidence, love, and sharing. I truly believe that there’s no need for competition in this world; there are enough resources for everyone to be successful. If we stopped trying to compete and started trying to help one another, can you imagine the places we could go and the things we could all accomplish? And you can start this movement right now by deciding to be happy. Happiness is a choice, not something you have to look for.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Nicola Mar, an author, poet, and essayist who believes in empowering others through her honest, uplifting prose and short poems. Nicola is the author of five books, including three poetry collections, and several short stories. Her essays have been featured on numerous sites, including The Huffington Post and Thrive Global.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share a story about what brought you to this particular career path?
I have been writing since I was seven years old, when my first short story was published in my school’s yearbook. I always enjoyed writing, but never thought of it as a career until I took my first creative writing course in college. My professor said I had a real gift for writing and from there, I really started believing that I could actually make a career doing something I loved.
Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?
I grew up in St. Maarten and had never met an accomplished author as a teenager. When I moved to the states, I hoped to get closer to more authors who I admired. In college in Orlando, I waited in line for hours to get a signed book by James Patterson. And now, living in New York City, I have the opportunity to visit book signings all the time. I have met some of the most famous authors in the world, so it’s just interesting how the universe brings you closer and closer to your thoughts and what you really want in life.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
When I finished writing my first novel, I believed I’d automatically get a literary agent and have a number one New York Times bestseller as I sat back and watched. I was naive. I didn’t realize how much time and work goes into marketing and how competitive the book publishing world can be. I learned that one must be patient and work every single day to find new readers. Forming a loyal tribe takes time. But what can I say — I loved and believed in my book so much, and that’s what kept me writing, despite the challenges!
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
Over the last few years, I have started writing poetry. I love poetry because it connects readers to words on a different level. Poetry evokes emotion and can get someone through the most difficult times. I just published my third poetry book, Roses by Moonlight, so I’m in the process of promoting that collection right now.
Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?
I love Anne Lamott. Her work is so relatable and inspiring. Her book, Bird by Bird, was one of the first books I read in college in my creative writing course, and it helped me believe that I, too, could be a successful writer.
Which literature do you draw inspiration from? Why?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is a book I will never forget, and I have read it several times. It’s such a feel-good book that reminds us all that we can achieve our dreams, no matter what they are. Similarly, the themes in Marianne Williamson’s books keep me inspired and grounded. Her books remind me that miracles can appear at any moment in time.
How do you think your writing makes an impact in the world?
I continually write to inspire and empower others to recognize their own self-worth. My hope is that my readers recognize the meaning of love in my words. I often say that my poetry is not mine; it belongs to all of us.
What advice would you give to someone considering becoming an author like you?
Believe in yourself. It’s that simple. Know that you can make any dream come true by first wanting, then believing, and finally, knowing. If you want to be an author, you most certainly can be!
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I’d love to start a movement of confidence, love, and sharing. I truly believe that there’s no need for competition in this world; there are enough resources for everyone to be successful. If we stopped trying to compete and started trying to help one another, can you imagine the places we could go and the things we could all accomplish? And you can start this movement right now by deciding to be happy. Happiness is a choice, not something you have to look for.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Do not listen to the opinions of others. There will always be people who tell you that your dreams are not valid. But only you decide your reality.
- You have everything you need to be successful. As long as you state what you want, the universe brings you into contact with the right people and resources at the right time. You don’t need to feel like you will never have the connections you need.
- Do what makes you happy. Even if you’re working a job you don’t like at the moment, continue to work on your passions every single day. Carve out time to do what makes you happy so you can eventually work on those projects exclusively.
- Failure only means you are closer to success. It’s only logical that you need to try many different things until you find the one that really works. Do not get bogged down by failure. Get excited that you’re getting closer to something that will bring your desired result.
- Live in the moment. Don’t think about the past or the future because you will most likely feel stressed. You are always creating your reality in your present thoughts — so think positively, get outside and enjoy this world, and smile.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, especially if we tag them 🙂
Michelle Obama: please call me. Let’s meet for brunch. My treat!