Every so often, I want to sit down and write the Acknowledgements page of my book. I never let myself, and often lecture myself for thinking so far ahead; treating something as a book that is, at present, only an unfinished manuscript.
Yet, the need to be grateful never really wanes in me, so I thought I’d share my thoughts, and my thanks, with you here.
My throat becomes tight with unshed tears as I type these words, because I know, achingly in my heart, that I am so, so lucky.
I can’t tell you how many writers, artists, dreamers of all shapes and sizes that I’ve heard complain that there is no support for their dream; that people around them don’t believe in the value of it. To those people, I can only say to keep looking until you find the people who will support you. When you do, they’re invaluable to your success.
My blessings in this area are unbounded. For starters, I was fortunate enough to have parents who always supported my writing and never treated it like it was folly or an unrealistic fantasy that I should give up in order to pursue something more practical. I have always had family – grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins on all sides of my very complicated family that asked me about my writing, showing interest and encouragement for whatever project I was working on at the time.
Over the years, I’ve had a variety of English, Journalism and Comparative Literature teachers that all fed my dream with their knowledge and instruction, and a few that knew of my bigger plans and nudged me along the way with suggestions for improvement and advancement of my craft. Who shifted aside the edges of the boxes and allowed me to see outside of them, to the possibilities of what could be.
An unending flow of reinforcement from my friends, who never fail to ask about the book and how it’s going, offer advice to bolster me up or get me through a tough chapter, and assure me that the finished copy will have a treasured place on their own bookshelves. Many of them have never read a word of it, and the level of blind faith that they offer to me is astounding. For those who have read bits and pieces, please know that the work would never be as full and complete without your gentle offerings of praise and constructive criticism that truly make a mark on the quality of my work.
And to my husband, Chris, who is well-versed in the quite complicated care and feeding of this mysterious creature we call the writer. The one who will frequently become lost in her own world, and snap at him when called back. The one who will ignore him for hours at a time when focusing on a project, or disregard the very real need for dinner when the words are flowing well. Thank you, always, for being so patient with me, and for loving my dream as much as I do.
As a writer, I’m emotional, insecure, afraid, weak, and fraught with apprehension and doubt. Particularly with this work, which has a very real sentimental meaning for me that I hope to weave through the lines on the pages. I yearn, so strongly, to really be true to this story. Hope that I can speak a message of inclusion and sanctuary in between the words the reader sees. As much as I want to finish this for me, I now want to finish it for all of you, too. To show you that your faith has meant something.
Your championship of my writing makes me feel not only that this book can be real, but that it SHOULD be real. And I will be forever, endlessly, grateful for that.