Like many aspiring authors (I suspect), I used to lie awake at night, dreaming of the day I’d get to write the acknowledgements page for my book. I genuinely thought it would probably be one of the best bits about being published.
I couldn’t wait to be able to say thank you to all the people who’ve helped me with my writing – and there have been lots of them. Writing may seem like a solitary pursuit, but I seriously doubt any published author could claim that they hadn’t had some help along the way.
Now the time has come for me to actually write the damn thing, however, it’s a WHOLE other story! I’ve been agonising over it all for a week now and have written countless drafts. I’m really struggling with the tone – there’s something so weird about the fact that it’s so public, yet so personal, and although I’ve never been particularly private, the gushing drafts I’ve written just make me sound like an egomaniac. Or a nutty sycophant. Or both.
I’ve been scrabbling to the ends of tons of other books lately to see what other authors have done, and it’s really interesting to see the mix: some people treat it like an essay, explaining exactly why each person has been included, while others just write a list of names. As a reader, I ALWAYS read the acknowledgements (often to nose at who the editor or agent was), and a list of names is always a bit of a letdown. So I’d like to include a brief bit about why that person is on my acknowledgement page, but that’s when it all starts to get a bit personal and cringey.
It’s come to the point where I’ve seriously considered leaving out the acknowledgements completely, but then again, I’ve been acknowledged in a few friends’ books in the past, and it was lovely.
So I’m going to battle on – I can honestly say this might be the most difficult piece of writing in the whole book!