“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” — Ernest Hemingway
Hemingway was speaking about fiction, where wrangling with words can be extremely painful. Fortunately, I specialise in non-fiction in the shape of lifestyle features, academic reports, ghost-writing and corporate briefs. A few more of my favourite quotes:
“If you wait for inspiration to write you’re not a writer, you’re a waiter.” — Dan Poynter
“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” — Jack Kerouac
“I am not at all in a humour for writing; I must write on until I am.” — Jane Austen
Mail & Guardian
Editing is about more than where you place a comma or preposition. It’s about taking stodgy text and polishing until the words zing and flow. It also often entails “translating” text so that the reader can enjoy it smoothly. The key principle is: if you don’t understand it, it needs editing. Also, if it’s too “meh” to be rescued, then you need a writer not an editor.
A few of my favourite quotes on editing:
“Write drunk, edit sober.” — Ernest Hemingway
“Editing might be a bloody trade, but knives aren’t the exclusive property of butchers. Surgeons use them too.” — Blake Morrison
“It is perfectly okay to write garbage — as long as you edit brilliantly.” — CJ Cherryh
“To write is human, to edit is divine.”― Stephen King
“So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.” ― Dr Seuss
80 Years – Expanding our
Legacy into Africa, a coffee table book on Coca-Cola Beverages Africa for Gutsche Family Investments
Who says it’s hard to get published? There’s a big difference between editorial and advertising, and it helps to know the tricks of the trade when you want to pitch your product, story or big idea to those hard-to-get-hold-of editors who don’t reply to your mails or return your calls.
Be strategic about where and how you pitch your idea or product because what you want to say, and what the people want to hear, may not be the same thing. Target the right audience via the right channel - which includes social media - at the right time and with the right content.
Every picture tells a story, especially in the visual world of the 21st Century.
Instagram is where I go to get snap-happy with photographs and video clips, my feed is messy and colourful and definitely not curated because this is where I can just play. I also love to mess around with graphics in Canva for friends’ small business ventures or functions - it’s crazy what amateurs can do with free software (but, if you’d like a professional artist or graphic designer, let me know and I will put you in touch).
Photography & multimedia
Pro bono graphic design for Autism Eastern Cape
I designed my logo as a combination of a pen and computer mouse. These images are for my Safrea profile, and business card
Pilates with Alex graphics for social media: WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook (* I also designed the and set up the website Pilates with Alex)
Tam’Jazi City Stall graphics for social media: WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook: the brief was to use a Comic Sans-like font, a grey and mint colour palette
Website & content © Gillian McAinsh 2022
Website & content © Gillian McAinsh 2021