Zeno’s Paradox of Writing

I’m trudging along in the process of finishing my first draft of Seacombe Island (my working title). At this point I’m up to 25 chapters and 96,608 words. That works out to about 270 pages in an average paperback novel. I’m not sure how I’m going to tie up all the lose ends yet, so I just keep on writing. Little by little, the details are starting to get sorted out. There is something to be said for the “butt in chair” method of writing, after all.

It occurred to me that my process is a little bit like Zeno’s Paradox. Zeno of Elea was a Greek mathematician. One of his puzzles was that motion does not really exist. In order to reach a goal, you must first get halfway there. But then when you’re halfway, you can divide the distance between where you are and your final goal in half again. By continually dividing this distance in half, you never, ever reach your final destination. Well, that would be pretty depressing if it were true. But since I get home from work every day Zeno can’t be right. I keep writing and the ending seems ever farther away, yet I know that I’m getting closer to it. It must be some trick of the imagination, or perhaps it’s just because so many things are coming together at the end.

My goal is to wrap up the first draft by next Wednesday so I can type those two final words: The End. We’re off to the Steampunk World’s Fair next week, and I want to be able to say that I actually have the novel done by then — although I know that editing and rewriting are going to be next on the to-do list.

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4 thoughts on “Zeno’s Paradox of Writing

  1. I saw your Forum post on Scrib so thought I would check out your site. Yep, half way forever would be depressing. 🙂 But, onward and upward.
    Tess W.

    • Thanks for stopping by and reading the post, Tess. I know I’m more than halfway, but sometimes it seems like I’m still stuck in the middle.

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