First, let me say I am not an avid fan of boxing, but I do know that the concept is to win as many rounds as possible by landing the most punches - or win early with a knock-out. Let's just say, I never got a knock-out, nor do I necessary feel like I won much, but I'm still standing.
With each round of editing, I found myself with a different purpose. There was an edit to fix grammar. An edit to change a major storyline. Edit to cut stuff out, then edit to put it all back in. I finally got to the point that I was so lost in my own head with this story that I needed a fresh, professional viewpoint. I knew I had given it all I could, it was time to let someone else into the ring. Enter my editor, Emily (a local English teacher).
There are six parts in my book, A Lost Woman. The first rounds were the worst, as I took punch after punch - my writing needed to be more descriptive, too much info dumping (didn't even know that was a thing), overuse of a word (side note here: when I re-read I can tell which days I wrote parts of the book based on my "repeat word". I always have one and it's very obvious), and choppy sentences that needed to be smooth fluent ones. I once read that good writing is "using just the right words to say just the right things." I knew from that first read that is what my story was missing - I wasn't saying it the right way.
Needless to say, it took months with Emily to rewrite my story. After months of training, rewriting, editing solo, I had found my match in Emily. For as many punches as she threw, I learned from every single one and by the end of the match my story was still intact. In fact, it had become more than I ever imagined. She had pushed me to the breaking point, challenged me to be better, and suddenly I was better. Even now sometimes I re-read portions of the book and think to myself, "did I really write that?" in awe of my own words.
But, I was naive to think that was going to be the hard part. I had this feeling as if that match was suddenly going to make me a "boxer". No, the real fight was yet to come. Working with Emily would not be my last edit, nor anywhere close to my last read. I still had a long road ahead of me and a lot of bruises.