"Write for Yourself": An Interview with Cindy J. Steward.

I always enjoy interviewing poets, because it's a form I don't personally write but am fascinated by. Today I'm sharing an interview with Cindy the Writer, who is a successful poet and overall interesting person. Her new book, Memoria of the Heart, released on June 12th, and Cindy was kind enough to explain her thoughts behind the book, her writing journey, and the beauty of poetry.


Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m 17 years old and have been living in the Netherlands ever since I was young. My parents are from Nigeria and moved here before I was born. They’re the reason I started learning English and stuck with it. I love writing, playing piano, music and desserts.

How has your writing journey evolved?

I started writing different stories about different topics. My first book was a bit basic. The next books were a bit deeper, exploring things like depression and anxiety.

On Wattpad, it was awesome seeing how my stories were able to help people that could relate to my characters. On the other hand, it was becoming harder to write for myself and not for the audience I had acquired over the months.I began writing what my public wanted to see, not to share my view of the world and my understanding of it. I had more ideas I wanted to explore, but I felt like continuing my earlier books were a chore.

One day I decided to write an awful scene in my book, the murder of the main character's dog. In return I received a massive amount of hate, causing my followers to drop in number. I realized I wasn't writing for myself anymore, which is why I decided to quit the online community, along with writing for a long time.

It was more than a year later when I started writing again. It helped me to describe my feelings and cope with my emotions and the events that were happening in my life. I joined communities dedicated to writing to improve my skills and started a private channel, not purposed to write for an audience.

My interests in poetry started growing as well. I met a group of people that wrote poetry frequently which inspired me to try it out as well. I was captivated by the art soon and slowly stopped writing prose in the process.Poetry gave me the chance to describe my feelings and abstract events in my mind and my heart. It was the thing I had been seeking for in novel writing before.

What are you currently working on?

A few months back I got the balls to send a compilation of writing to a publishing house. They were very excited and helped me to get my book ready for publication! It’s called Memoria of a Heart. This is a collection of poetry about the journey of a heart through grief, each poem describing emotions and feelings disturbing the balance in the mind and soul during toxic relationships. It is not particularly about one person or a specific kind of relationship. It is about the mixture of emotions that anyone can relate to and the internal struggles during hardships.

It voices the pain and restlessness when experiencing the loss of a loved one, either alive or dead. This is for every heart that has their memories torturing them and fights the dark that is sucking them in. May the sun shine upon you once again.

It released on the 12th of June. It further contains illustrations, visualising what is described in the poetry. It is based on the five stages of grief. It has in total 7 parts: the prologue, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance, and the epilogue.

How would you describe your writing style?

I would say I write either very descriptive or solely focused on dialogue, but never both. I use a lot of metaphors and, in my upcoming book, I usually only focus on the feelings I went through. I also don’t use any capital letters, but I use a bunch of interpunction. I’m not sure how I’ve developed this kind of style, but I don’t think I could do it differently at all.

Why are you drawn to poetry?

Poetry says a lot in a few words. It’s a story, but not as prose. It enables me to focus on one aspect, my feelings. For me, poetry is the same as the thoughts in my head and represent me. Not a character I’ve made up or a character that resembles me or a part of me. When I write poetry I’m completely being me and I love feeling that way. And the satisfaction when you finish a poem is amazing!

What has your path to publication looked like?

It was a bit of a struggle. Mainly because of me, though. I was very nervous and insecure about myself and my skills, so I needed a lot of motivation and stimulation to get into the publication-business. But it was all worth it now my book is coming out. I’m excited to hold my own book in my hand. It’s something I thought was impossible at first.

Who is the audience for Memoria of a Heart? Who might enjoy it?

Memoria of a Heart is for anyone that has went is or is going through depression, grief or a toxic relationship. It’s also written to fit universally, so anyone can relate to it. The illustrations make it visually pleasing as well, so I genuinely believe anyone that likes pretty books might enjoy it as well.

Do you have any advice for other young writers?

If you want to write, just write. If you want to publish a book, just do it. No one worth it will judge you, everyone that matters will support you. Make sure to do the research needed and you’ll get there.


Follow Cindy on Instagram: @cindythewriter.

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