(CBS Local)–Iain S. Thomas initially took the safe route in life with a career in advertising.

He made a good living and worked on big advertising campaigns, but he wanted more control over his creative work. Then, he started posting poems on the internet.

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“At some point, I really wanted to do something that wasn’t advertising,” said Thomas in an interview with CBS Local. “I started posting poetry online next to these photographs that a friend of mine would send me. He lived in Japan and we met on the internet. We still have never met and we’ve been doing this since 2007.”

In 2011, Thomas became an international best seller with his book “I Wrote This For You.” His words have been used by people all around the world including director Steven Spielberg.

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“It is pretty wild. Sam Smith posted a picture on Instagram and I could see my book in the background,” said Thomas. “Steven Spielberg quoted me at a dinner with Oprah Winfrey and Tom Hanks a little while ago. Camila Cabello spoke about it on Twitter. Arianna Huffington uses one of my poems in her commencement speeches and her book. It’s amazing because I live on the tip of Africa. No one knows who I am back home.”

Thomas’s latest book “Every Word You Cannot Say” is particularly important because the author used it to help him get through a tough time. Thomas encourages everyone to write about what they are feeling.

“Back in 2013, I was depressed. I wasn’t depressed for any particular reason, I was just depressed,” said Thomas. “Depression can be like that. I felt like my depression was part of who I was. I thought it made my writing interesting, which is a very scary story that creative people can tell themselves. One day I went out for a drive and stopped on the side of the road and I really didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I took out a pen and some paper and I just started writing. When I looked down, I had written some of the first poems in this book.”

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“Every Word You Cannot Say” is now available wherever books are sold.