Jonathan Chase is a mentor and advocate for young people on the autism spectrum. He contacted me when a TED-X talk he recently delivered was scheduled to be released on YouTube in a few weeks. Jonathan needed someone to rewrite the text across his entire website to clarify its message and generally give the words a professional sheen for the influx of new visitors TED would bring. My main goal in this process was to treat Jonathan's writing with respect, taking care to keep his personality and passion intact while smoothing out the edges of the text. In pursuit of this goal, I created a three-column Microsoft Word chart in which I placed his original sentences in the first column, the rewritten sentences in the second column, and a brief explanation of my reasoning for each change in the third. That way I could ensure all of the original text was preserved in case Jonathan preferred to revert any of the changes. Here's a small sample of my revisions:
Once I had approval for these changes, I carefully updated the website using his web developer's concrete5 content management system. As a nice bonus (on top of the fee we negotiated), Jonathan wrote this wonderful recommendation of my editing work:
"I hired Jeremy Pinkham to edit and finalize text for my website, www.jonathanchase.net. He was very timely in meeting my deadlines and adaptable in writing text that fit my personal style as well as the flow of the website. He also showed great flexibility not only in the scope of editing but in adjusting to my schedule when a family illness pulled me away from the project and shifted our timeline. He was easy to work with and understanding of my situation. His assistance made a large difference in the final product and I am very happy with how it all came together. Jeremy is a great guy and I would absolutely recommend his skills as a writer and editor."