How do you keep the vision alive, after so many years?

It occurred to me today that I have been running this blog here at satiswrites.com for a little over five years—my first post was published on October 5, 2011, in an effort to encourage myself to participate in NaNoWriMo that year. My first Thought of the Week post was about the children’s book The Phantom Tollbooth, and why it hasn’t been made into a live-action movie.

My first comment came from a book review page called Books and Boston, which hasn’t been updated since 2012. My first post like came later, from a blog called Storytelling Nomad, which hasn’t been updated since 2014.

Starting a blog seems easy; keeping one going is bloody difficult. There have been times when I’ve felt like giving up; times when I’ve not felt like writing. There have been great periods of time where I failed to post anything at all.

Sometimes I could barely drag myself out of bed, but I kept at it.

But ultimately I keep coming back to it. I continue to write, for better or for worse. And there are days (frequently, as it happens) when I wonder—why? Why do I do it?

This blog was created to catalogue my first attempt at a novel, The Redemption of Erâth. I started posting weekly chapters in early 2012; by the end of the book, six months later, I had a fair number of followers and likes. It seemed I was on to something. Of course, I couldn’t just post excerpts from my book; a blog has to encompass more than that, it has to convey the thoughts and emotions of the blogger.

I continued writing ‘thoughts of the week’. I started (and abandoned) many subthreads, such as The Devil’s Details and Tales of Despair. For a very long period of time, I used my blog to express my own despair and disillusionment, an outlet for my depression. I connected with the WordPress community, making (and losing) some dear friends. Many have mental health issues that far outweigh my own. I commiserated, and lost myself in the bleak numbness of depression.

But I kept on writing. Sometimes I could barely drag myself out of bed, but I kept at it. Aside from my books, I estimate I’ve written another two novels’ worth on here, about 200,000 words. It’s been one the greatest struggles of my life. Sometimes I was rewarded: twice I was nominated for WordPress’ ‘Freshly Pressed’ (now ‘Discover‘), and gained a great deal of followers because of it. Sometimes I wasn’t; I’ve spent hours on posts that didn’t garner a single like.

But there is something deeply meaningful to me in continuing to write, and to write for the people who wish to read: every one of you. I can’t know how many of you will see this post or read it in its entirety, but for everyone who does I want to say, thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I would not, could not have carried on for so long without knowing you were reading, without your support, without your likes and comments.

I feel this is reflected in my books, as well. My novels are a communication, a way of expressing the inner torment I’ve lived with most of my life. And the validation of a like, or a review, is an ultimate reward. I’ve written three long novels now, and have four more planned. With the pace I’ve managed so far, I’ll release the final book in the Redemption of Erâth series sometime in 2023. That’s a long time from now.

How do I keep the vision alive? How do I remember what I started for, and what compels me to continue? I’m not sure if I know the answer. I’m not famous; I’m not rich. I’m not renowned for my fantasy or my writing. But I have three books’ proof that the impossible is possible, and I still have, burning in my mind, the one scene that culminates the entirety of the Redemption of Erâth series. I know how it ends, and I want to see that end.

And I will continue. I will carry on. With any luck, I’ll still be blogging here on WordPress in six years’ time. I hope to be. Because knowing that there is even one person out there in the world who is hearing my thoughts, reading my words, and perhaps—just perhaps—deriving some meaning of their own from it, is all I could ever ask for.

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