Because it means something


“… don’t just paint it red because you like red, or because that’s the only paint left in the store or whatever. Paint it red because it means something. And so every idea, every use has to have a meaning, as well as every cog and every screw.”

This is an extract from an interview with the author Sara Baume, which I read in the Spring 2016 edition of The Moth magazine. It was guidance given to her by a tutor when she was studying her art-based degree.

This really piqued my interest. I try to make every word count, try to excise the superfluous from my writing, but sometimes, I don’t quite manage it. I’m human, after all. Life (the non-writing part) sometimes interferes with my concentration and dedication. Oh, the perils of writing in your spare time – we all know it, right?

Sara Baume is the author of ‘Spill Simmer Falter Wither’ which is a fantastic book. I haven’t quite finished reading it yet, but I adore and admire it greatly. The Guardian describes it as ‘An atmospheric tale about the friendship between one man and his dog’. They are both outsiders, both not quite fitting into the world around them, both have ‘histories’ that shape who they are.

Perhaps I am enjoying it so much because I feel like a complete and utter outsider myself. I do catch myself thinking that unless I’m writing or creating art (a more recent rediscovery of mine), then I’m pretty much acting a part. That I’m not quite shaped for the world around me to fit in quite as I should.

That may be all in my head, but aren’t we all in our heads, to some degree or other?

The novel is lyrical, flows like a river, intriguing, painful, beautiful and heartfelt. And goodness me, the publisher (Tramp Press) made very few changes to the manuscript – such an achievement!

Anyway, choose red because it means something. That seems a decent guideline to live by.


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