Let's talk. Contact Judy

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: I have a degree in jour­nal­ism, and need to work out of my home. Will you hire me to do some of your editing?

As an Independent Contractor, I don’t employ oth­ers. I only con­tract with other Independent Contractors. I can help you find resources if you want to become an Independent Contractor. If you ever become an Independent Contractor, con­tact me. We could dis­cuss work­ing together.

Question: What’s an Independent Contractor?

Here’s a link to a site that explains how an Independent Contractor dif­fers from an employee.

Question: I’m a young mother of two who would like to start a sec­re­tar­ial ser­vice at home. I already have my DBA name and a Tax ID num­ber. Where do I go from here? PLEASE HELP.

Start with this How to Start a Home-based Business . It gives the basics, plus lots of resources, local and online.

Question: Would you look at some pages on my site and give me a quote for re-working the text?

Sure. Before I go do so, please con­sider this: how much value do you put on this sec­tion? What would hap­pen to sales if you didn’t even have the sec­tion? If you look at it from this angle, you’ll know bet­ter how to bud­get for any kind of revi­sion. You may decide it’s urgent, that it can wait a while, or that it’s not really nec­es­sary in the scheme of things. I will work with you and we can take the pre­lim­i­nary steps as soon as you’re ready.

Question: Why would you turn down work?

  • Uncontrolled Growth Syndrome.
  • This syn­drome can destroy a one-person busi­ness. Although I can’t help every­one, I will refer to other pro­fes­sion­als, and I know some who are effec­tive, trust­wor­thy, and have good cus­tomer ser­vice skills.
  • Time con­straints. Prospective or cur­rent clients must some­times wait until I can sched­ule them. If they’re fac­ing time con­straints, I pro­vide them with refer­rals to other skilled, trusted professionals.
  • Sometimes I’m not equipped to edit cer­tain con­tent because it isn’t part of my every­day lan­guage and/or cul­ture. If it’s highly spe­cial­ized mate­r­ial, I can usu­ally find a spe­cial­ist who may be able to help.
  • Value dif­fer­ences. I enjoy work­ing with peo­ple who share my val­ues and ideals … peo­ple with sim­i­lar goals. For exam­ple, I can­not take on work for a com­pany whose claims I find hard to believe. When I see what I feel are exag­ger­ated claims on a web site, I move on.
  • Site owner’s con­fu­sion. Some online busi­nesses are mired in con­fu­sion. If busi­ness own­ers lack real pas­sion for their busi­nesses, it would be uneth­i­cal of me to take their money. Refusing to work on such sites gives me the time I need to work with sites whose own­ers have a clear vision and know their tar­get well.
  • Need for dif­fer­ent exper­tise. If they need site ren­o­va­tion, and want to be involved with a large amount of script­ing, ani­ma­tion, audio, etc., it may be bet­ter that they go to a one-stop Web devel­oper who can coor­di­nate every­thing. Sometimes I coor­di­nate such projects, how­ever, and hire out the exper­tise. It all depends. Some peo­ple pre­fer to use my ser­vices because they trust me and want to work with me.

Question: Are you a gram­mar expert?

      The word “expert” makes me ner­vous. Pedestals can be very unsta­ble. I know where to find most answers to gram­mar and style prob­lems and I love — and have a nat­ural affin­ity for — lan­guage. I’m skilled at edit­ing every­day American English from a num­ber of per­spec­tives because I’ve had expe­ri­ence in busi­ness, com­mu­nity ser­vice, music, drama, art, writ­ing, pho­tog­ra­phy, and education.

I’ve worked in bank­ing, con­struc­tion, insur­ance, a church office, busi­ness travel, ship­ping, and fleet man­age­ment. And I’m active in human and social ser­vices in my com­mu­nity as a volunteer.

My strongest gifts lie in my abil­ity to spot cre­ativ­ity, tal­ent, and poten­tial in others…in ana­lyz­ing the works, writ­ing, and ideas of others…and in trou­bleshoot­ing the prob­lems and chal­lenges other peo­ple and busi­nesses face.

Because of my love of words and the need to express myself I began tak­ing writ­ing lessons in the 1980s. I used every­thing I learned to be bet­ter — in terms of writ­ing — at every job I had.

In the years fol­low­ing my writ­ing lessons, I had many arti­cles pub­lished, mostly non­fic­tion. But I learned that I liked edit­ing even more than writing.

Once I started my own busi­ness, every­thing came together. I had to draw peo­ple out
in order to write good resumes. Same for brochures and press releases, etc. I got more and more involved in edit­ing as time went by. I appar­ently have the abil­ity to get a good sense of my clients. I take their words and edit and orga­nize them into what it is that they really want to say.

Question: Didn’t you write an arti­cle about how to start a busi­ness like yours?

Absolutely. It’s more like a book­let. You can find it by click­ing here

Question: What books do you use for editing?

  • The Associated Press Stylebook
  • American Medical Association Manual of Style
  • Cambridge International Dictionary of Idioms
  • Cambridge International Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs
  • The Chambers Dictionary, Ninth Edition
  • The Copyeditor’s Handbook: Amy Einsohn
  • The Chicago Manual of Style
  • The Elements of Grammar: Margaret Shertzer
  • The Elements of Style, Third Edition: William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White
  • The Gregg Reference Manual: William A. Sabin
  • Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition
  • Oxford Concise English Dictionary (1999)
  • Prentice Hall Reference Guide to Grammar and Usage: Muriel Harris
  • Visual Thesaurus (CD)
  • The Web Content Style Guide: McGovern, Norton, and O’Dowd
  • Webster’s New World College Dictionary: Macmillan
  • Words into Type, Third Edition: Prentice-Hall
  • The Yahoo! Style guide
  • Roget’s Thesaurus