My New Year’s resolution for 2019 was to write 500 words everyday. This was after I’d read the book of letters between Trinidadian writer V.S. Naipaul and his dad, Seepersad Naipaul. Seepersad was a writer too, though without the notice his son received and, as he himself poignantly acknowledged, the same talent. Nonetheless he encouraged his son to write 500 words a day. He assured this act would make Naipaul a better writer more than any other single literary act.
It hit me when I read it. Not that I believed I could achieve anything close to V.S. Naipaul’s body of work, but that his dad had a point. 500 words is a bit of a magic number. It’s enough words to constitute work but not enough to need to spend all day coming up with them. It also, over time, produces a consistency which is retrospectively impressive – to the writer.
The words could have all been equivalent to bales of horse hay, but there was still 187,000 of them. Boom. And I’ve had fun watching the WordPress word counter grow. I heartily dislike using WordPress on a number of levels – all too pernickety to bore you with now, but I do like their word counter. And their stats page – though that doesn’t necessarily show an upward curve of any kind. Oh well. Why be V.S. Naipaul when you can be his dad?
I have now, in my overall enthusiasm of consistency, written a year’s worth of 500-words-a-day. 365 x 500 = 182,500. I had to check in case I was wrong. Numbers give me the panics. Yep, word-wise, I’m finished. Some blogs were longer and, when I felt the muse and the Ormerods weren’t bothering me, I could come up with a couple of 500s-a-day. I know this is technically cheating, but words sometimes are like blowing bubbles. They just want to be blown.
Now December 1st has arrived. I don’t have to get up at 4am and write in order to fulfil a fake deadline I made up myself. But I’m used to it. I suppose that’s what New Year’s resolutions are for; to get a person used to something. Consistency and habit are sisters that may bicker like the two sisters I live with, but they’re also best friends.
At this stage, I feel I should offer up an apology. A sorry that my words are usually a baggy mess of half-baked thoughts rustled up on a plate of irreverence. Still, food all comes out the same way, even if it tastes different going in. And on that note, I’ll leave you dear reader, except to say thank you for eating my meal of 500.
But wait! Since I’m still in the 460s, forgive me when I add that Fort de France, the capital of Martinique is a photographer’s dream. It has the light, the architecture, the street art and subject matter to cast endless portraits. Words don’t do it justice.