Who is Sound View Editing?

Hi, I’m Julie Hersum, owner of Sound View Editing.

Long before I started working as an editor, I was drawn to professional and academic jobs that involved creating accurate and compelling content. I’d let no opportunity pass by:

A graduate school group project needs a writer and editor? Me!

Convoluted ordinances from local governments need to be summarized into two or three sentences? I’ll do it!

The League of Women Voters needs help converting ballot measure language into plain language voters will understand? I’m your gal!

The skills I gained from these (and many more!) early academic and professional experiences, along with rigorous and thorough training from the University of Washington’s Certificate in Editing Program, have all contributed invaluably to the quality of service I offer my clients today.


Beyond editing and writing

I've had a long-standing interest in public policy and nonprofit work. After receiving my BA in Political Science, I spent five years working at Municipal Research & Services Center (MRSC), a nonprofit resource for local governments throughout the state of Washington. During this time I also became involved in citizen advocacy and education with the Seattle League of Women Voters, serving four years on their board of directors. In 2003, I received my MPA in Public Administration from the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance at the University of Washington.

Today, I keep one foot in the door of my former local government life by serving as a commissioner on Bainbridge Island's Civil Service Commission. I've also recently (2017) completed Bainbridge Island's Citizen Police Academy and frequently volunteer in my children’s schools and with their various activities.

I live and work on gorgeous Bainbridge Island, surrounded by Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest, a 35-minute ferry ride from Seattle. It rains a LOT here, and we've got the green to prove it. On a sunny day I think it's the most beautiful place in the world. 


A few secrets, shhh...

For a limited time, I'm sharing a few SECRETS here, but SHHHH, don't tell anyone else!

SECRET #1:  I’d edit for free if I could. I derive immense gratification from helping people clarify sentences, restructure language, and even identify issues within larger storylines. Writing allows for the opportunity to contemplate and communicate precisely what we mean to say, and I never tire of helping others achieve this precision in their communication. 

SECRET #2:  I get nervous handing over my writing to an editor. It's true! In graduate school I gave my thesis to an editor thinking it was pretty fantastic, and it came back full of red lines and marks! I thought: How did I make so many mistakes? And, This editor must think I’m a terrible writer! 

When I relaxed and read my thesis with the changes incorporated, however, I realized how much clearer and more credible my arguments sounded. I quickly came to appreciate the editing process as a valuable partner to the creative process of writing. A fresh set of eyes  eyes not attached to the original creative vision  can more readily identify gaps in logic, missing words or punctuation, and more.  

As a professional editor, I still feel a little self-conscious when handing my work over to another editor before publication. It's natural. But now I know editors aren't judges and red lines aren't scores, and in fact, I find myself excited for feedback about what content "works" and how other content might be improved.

When I'm editing, I'm not considering whether someone is a "good" writer, or if they are "smart" and know all the grammar rules. I'm simply reading from an audience's perspective and using my skills to give clients the most objective advice I can. 

SECRET #3: I'm not the expert. On your project, you are the final expert. If I tell you that according to industry standards capitalization is reserved for proper nouns and the start of new sentences, but you decide your character speaks in ALL CAPS (think John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany), then that is your artistic right. I will strive to help you style your writing in a voice that relates to your audience and that suits you and accomplishes your goals.  

I strongly value cooperation and collaboration with all my clients, and I always respect your final word.

If you'd like more details on my work history or education, please see my resume

Thank you for visiting my site. I look forward to hearing about your project soon!