If there’s anyone who knows how to lift up other people, it’s poet and musician Morgan Harper Nichols. The mixed-media artist shares her works of art and words of wisdom across social media, as well as through collaborations, her own app, an online shop and multiple bestselling books.
Driven by curiosity and empathy, Nichols is constantly inspiring her followers with her authenticity and positive spirit. Here’s what we learned about her during our conversation on TMRWxTODAY's Instagram Live.
1. She started her career as a college admissions counselor before becoming a freelance musician and artist
Nichols’ career journey proves that success isn't always a straight line. You can go after your dreams no matter what.
“In between gigs, I started playing around with art apps on my iPad and turned song lyrics into poetry," she said. "Since then, I’ve continued to explore how art helps us to connect to one another. Much of my work enters on the question: 'How can we create connection?'"
2. She’s on a mission to write 1 million poems during her lifetime
Nichols is so engaged with her online community that she often interacts with her followers one-on-one. She transforms their stories, many of which she gets in her DMs, into digestible quotes and poems that end up on her Instagram feed. Since 2017, she’s been on a mission to share 1 million of them during her lifetime — no small feat!
“I’ve lost count, but I do know I’m in the thousands!” she said of her progress so far. “I started writing the poems in real time on my Instagram stories and captions, which became hard to keep track of, but I said I wanted to write for a million people very intentionally. I did the math and figured out this would take me decades to do. In this fast-paced world, I needed something in my life that would take this long to reach, and that’s what this project is for me and is why I haven’t stopped since I started.”
"That’s something I want my child and everyone to know: You have a story worth sharing."
3. She’s written multiple bestselling books. The latest is “How Far You Have Come: Musings on Beauty and Courage”
Her latest book is an illustrated collection of poetry and essays. She weaves together personal reflections with her signature poems to share her journey and bring people together through unity, hope and reconciliation.
“It’s very scary to write about your story, but I’ve learned that I’m more capable than I think about sharing mine. I’m the kind of person who spent a lot of time thinking my story wasn’t interesting enough and other people had better stories to tell than I did, but I realized I do have something to contribute and say," she shared. "That’s something I want my child and everyone to know: You have a story worth sharing. Every part of it might not go viral or reach everyone, but it’s still worth sharing.”
4. Her fans include Reese Witherspoon, Chrissy Metz, Jay Shetty, Jennifer Garner and more
Since 2017, Nichols has been capturing the attention of fans everywhere, including some of the biggest personalities in entertainment and beyond.
“When I see someone who I’m such a fan of follow me, I don’t know what to do with that! There have been times where I’ve sent a screenshot to a friend or my sister showing them. When someone mentions me in their stories, it creates a DM thread. I’ll respond and say, 'Thank you so much.' But I get really nervous about DMs! Sometimes I forget about them for days!” she told TMRW.
5. She was diagnosed with autism at 31 years old
After watching a video on TikTok of a woman sharing her experience about being diagnosed with autism as an adult, Nichols decided to find a specialist in her area. She recognized that many aspects of her life were similar to others who had been diagnosed with autism, like struggles communicating with peers. Her story has served as inspiration to many and showed people with a similar experience that they are not alone.
“I spent a lot of years feeling bad for the ways in which I was different, because I didn’t know why I was different and struggled with it," Nichols said. "This was a moment that I stopped being ashamed of myself and my struggle with communication issues. This has made me the artist, woman and person that I am. It’s made me more empathetic and compassionate.”