Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Nikki Anne Schmutz. I am a writer, healer, abuse survivor, mother of four, widow, and seeker of beauty
At what age did you start writing? Have you always written poetry? Who/what first inspired you to start writing?
I was ten years old when I decided I wanted to be a writer. At that age I’m sure I didn’t understand what that entailed, all I knew was inside me was a well of words I wanted to share. I started out writing simple, silly poetry and progressed into deeper poetic processes as a teenager and young adult. I grew up working in my father’s bookstore, having all kinds of literature and poetry at my fingertips. I read everything. I branched out into novels and screenwriting in my twenties, where I had some success, but found myself once again in the poetic realm. It is where I am happiest. I am the author of four books and one produced film. I also have a poetry channel on YouTube.
Who are your favorite poets?
I adore 19th century American Poetry. One of my favorites is Emily Dickinson.
How do you first start writing a poem? Does it come to you out of the blue, or do you have a set time where you meet with your Muse each day and let the words just … come?
For me, poems are born in a few different ways. Sometimes I hear a phrase or a word that sparks something, other times an image engraves a feeling on my heart and words follow. I have never written at a set time – although since I am the mother of four children I often find myself writing late at night when the house is finally quiet.
Has your idea of what poetry is changed since you began writing poetry?
Poetry for me is a journey, a path from one way of thinking to another. I used to write concrete images, but now prefer to use metaphor more often than not. Most of my poems focus on healing or finding oneself – a journey I have been on in my own life.
Are you on Facebook or Twitter or any other social media? Does that fit into your writing life, and if so, how?
For many years I have been highly active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. With the recent death of my husband my activity has slowed, but writing and sharing is never something I walk away from completely. Who is a writer, except the reflection of those who read his/her work? Sharing is essential.
Do you have a writing group or community of writers you share your work with? Who are they? What are you reading right now?
I admin a poetry group on Facebook where I share my work before I post it for my readership. Wordsmiths with Lizard Skin has been my baby for years. I also have a group for promoting poetry called Promote Poetry; Books, Blogs, Pages. We all need a place to offer up shameless plugs.
I am always reading something, whether it’s just grabbing a book from my living room (where I have thousands of books lining the walls) or have ventured to the library for some material on something I want to learn. What’s the last book I picked up? The Marriage of Heaven and Hell by William Blake.
What words of encouragement can you offer other poets who are trying to get their work noticed?
Keep at it. Write. Share. Write. Share. Write. Share. It’s a process that never ends. It’s what we poets do.