Nihar Sharma is an engineer turned freelance writer and poet. She regularly shares poetry on social media under her alias ‘The Dreamer’, read by followers across the globe. She is a native of Jammu, India, and currently resides in Kansas, US. Her self-published poetry book ‘Wanderings’ was third on the hot new releases for poetry by women in December 2016 on Amazon and the digital version was #1 bestseller in Asian American poetry in April 2017. When she’s not writing, she’s most likely reading, daydreaming or shooing off the squirrel from her bird feeder.
I was meant
to be around people
and yet not be around them
to observe them from
Why does an engineer decide to write poetry or why does a poet become an engineer?
My grandfather had an old typewriter, and as a kid, I loved the tap-tap of the keys. That’s when I wrote my first poems. But then school happened, and I forgot about writing. A part of me was interested in science and hence engineering ensued. But after college and working for a while in a software company, I felt unfulfilled and somehow could not feel passionate about my work. I got anxious and depressed, and just to let my emotions out, I began to write. It felt as though the words had been waiting to be penned all along. One day I was feeling really low and decided to find a place online to give way to my emotions. I found a website created for writing anonymous thoughts, but before I could type anything, I began reading what other people had written and my problems seemed very small in comparison. I started replying to the posts, asking those in pain to hold on, and that there was more to life if they tried. The next day I got a reply from someone telling me I had saved his life! That was a high I will never forget. And I realized that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to write and help people, share my emotions and tell them that they are not alone. I wanted to give them something positive to look forward to and I decided to do so in the form of short prose and poems. That’s how The Dreamer started. And to my surprise, the response was phenomenal. Technically, I never had any issues because writing came naturally to me. It helped sort out my emotions and gave me relief. It became my anchor. I am addicted to writing now. And I hope that those who read it are addicted to it too.
Your favorite poet/poets.
Tyler Knott Gregson, Nayyirah Waheed, Khalil Gibran
Your FB page has a large number of followers. Any tips about marketing for wannabe writers?
Consistency is the key. Write well and write often. If you get a chance, share your writing on FB pages that are looking for such content. If you touch the right chord with the audience, people will automatically come looking to your page for more. And if you write often, they will stay. Be open to criticism.
Instapoetry is taking the poetry scene by storm- tell us about the effort you put in to make the digital experience of your poetry more interesting.
Apart from rare occasions when the poem is long, I try to keep it short and clear. On social media, especially Instagram, you have a very short time to peak a person’s interest. So clarity is important. Also, be consistent. People read your work because they like the way you put it. If you keep changing the way it looks experimenting with a lot of fonts, I doubt they will recognize it as yours anymore.
Explain your writing process- is it spontaneous or do you spend time rewriting work?
When a thought comes to me I write it down in whatever rough form I can. Then later I try to make sense of it and rewrite if necessary.
What are you working on now?
A second book of poetry.
Any tips for writers seeking inspiration?
Some days it is easy to write, but it is not easy to write every day. Only ever make a career out of it if you cannot survive without writing. On the days Inspiration decides to look the other way, watch movies, read books, think about the people you have met. You will definitely find something to pen down.
If not poetry, then?
A fiction novel. I love creating stories in my head. I have always been a dreamer.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas, Nihar! We wish you all the best for your second book!