Friday, November 10, 2017

Never Give Up by Sylvia Stewart

Sylvia Stewart
Do you experience days when you feel like giving up on writing? Does it sometimes feel like publication is out of reach for you? 

Author Sylvia Stewart shares her writing journey and reminds us that it’s never too late! ~ Dawn

Never Give Up

I began writing when I was about thirty-five—writing for publication, that is. I’ve been writing all my life. I grew up as a missionary kid (MK) in the Belgian Congo—now the Democratic Republic of Congo. Journaling and sending letters home from boarding school was a great way to learn how to pull thoughts together and make them interesting.

My first effort to write for publication happened when we were in missionary service in Malawi, East Africa. I saw a butterfly migration and after doing a little research in an encyclopedia, I wrote a short piece titled “Butterfly Power” that was immediately published in The Pentecostal Evangel.

“Wow,” I said to myself. “That was easy!” However, I learned that writing for publication wasn’t as easy as I had thought. It was two years before I had another article acceptance.

I read many writing instruction books during those formative years as a writer. I also took a correspondence course in Creative Writing (there was no internet then). Living in Africa before the advent of computer technology made it very difficult to connect with editors. However, I continued to send in an article now and then, send letters home to my parents and to journal. Many of my journal entries later became grist for articles.

During our years in Malawi, I began to write a novel for pre-teens. Kondi’s Quest needed 24 years to develop. When we retired from mission assignments in 2001, I was able to join a critique group, which greatly helped Kondi’s Quest mature, and it was published independently in the summer of 2014. Seattle Rayne, Book 1 in the Sweet Romances series, came into print in the fall of that year, and sequels to Kondi’s Quest followed: Kondi’s Joy, in 2015, and Kondi’s Secret in 2016. In October of 2017, Montana Skye, Book 2 in the Sweet Romances series, will first appear in Wonderland Wishes, a boxed set of six brand-new Christmas novellas. Later, it will be published independently.

Becoming a published writer is a journey, and like most journeys, it may take a long time to reach the desired destination—publication. To accomplish God’s purposes in our task may seem wearisome and our success unprofitable. But we won’t reach our goal if we give in to discouragement and despair. I’m still writing and publishing at seventy-seven years of age. So, as Winston Churchill said: 

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” 
“Never give up on something that you can't go a day without thinking about.” 
“Never, never, never give up.”

Loneliness has hovered over Rayne DeMarco’s life ever since leaving East Africa to live on her own in Seattle. Frequent infusions of coffee have neither enlivened her flagging business as a freelance writer nor her social life.  Seattle’s gray winter skies seem to mirror her life.

Then a mama cat with three rambunctious kittens finds a home in her above-the-garage apartment, and a handsome Montana cowboy, Matt Hayes, walks back into her life. Bring in a puppy who needs a little love and you have a Seattle romance that is as sure to warm your heart as the hot coffee Seattleites crave.

Wonderland Wishes

Just released! Sylvia’s Montana Skye is included in the boxed set, Wonderland Wishes—a collection of NEW Christmas romances.

Sylvia Stewart grew up in the Belgian Congo (which later became Zaire and the Democratic Republic of Congo). She spent 21 years as an Assemblies of God missionary in Malawi, East Africa, with her husband, Duane. In 1992, they were asked to go to Ethiopia to found a Bible College. They spent 11 years in Ethiopia doing mostly Bible College ministry. She has published four books since 2011. Kondi’s Quest, Kondi’s Joy and Kondi’s Secret, the Mysteries in Malawi series, were written for pre-teens, but adults find them interesting, too.  Seattle Rayne is Book 1 of the Sweet Romances series. Montana Skye, Book 2, will be published in October 2017.

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