Lately, I've been struggling to write. I've let myself become lethargic. The energy I had devoted to the craft at the beginning of the year has fallen away, and I have struggled to regain it. I've not written another episode of my serial fiction for quite a while. And I've not touched this blog for just as long.
I often find that there is a sort of "creative inertia" with my writing practice. The principle of inertia states that an object at rest will tend to stay at rest until outside forces compel it to move. This reflects how I am with my writing: if I hit a period where I'm not writing a lot, I will simply continue not to write. I must force myself back into the groove if I am to continue to work on my projects and/or get new ones started. But that is often easier said than done, due to the paralyzing effect of another physics conundrum on my psyche: Zeno's paradox.
Imagine an ball rolling down a hill. Before it reaches the foot of the hill, it must first reach the halfway point. And before it reaches the halfway point, it must reach the halfway point before that point. And before it reaches that halfway point, it must reach a point halfway to that point, and so on and so on. Eventually we have infinite halfway points, and movement is impossible. There is a specific philosophical reasoning behind this absurd proof by contradiction, but I'm not going to get into it, because the paralyzing aspect of it happens when you combine the aspects of this paradox with anxiety and mental health.
When I sit down to write a story, it is easy for me to become overwhelemed. Even if I have made sgnificant progress, my brain picks up where I am, sees what I have left, and makes it seem huge and impossible. Because if I wang to finish, let's say, a chapter of a novel, I must first get halfway to finishing. But before that, I must get halfway to halfway, and then halfway to that halfway point, and so on, until there are inifinite halfway points and writing is impossible.
But the beautiful part about Zeno's paradox is that it is so self-evidentially bullshit. Motion obviously happens: we see it all the time. And that was Zeon's point: he was refuting the arguments of another school of philosophical thought. Now, I could get into that argument (and the fact that Zeon had multiple paradoxes which I have distilled into one for simplicity), but that's beyond the scope of this blog post. The point is that I can recognize that my anxiety over never finishing is BS. So that's one roadblock removed, and one step towards conquering my creative inertia taken. Now if only I could do something about my anxiety over the quality of my work...