I recently received an email from an author friend who is being published Fall 2011. She was checking the names and spelling of those people that would appear in the acknowledgment section of her book. I was overwhelmed with this honor and deeply gratified to be on her list. It made me feel as though I have arrived — my name will appear in the thank you section of a book put out by a major publisher! Later this year I can walk into a real bookstore and flip open the pages and see my name there. Amazing.
It got me to thinking about my own potential thank you list. I wrote down the names of everyone who has read a portion of my most recent manuscript. The list started to get really long. Six people have read the complete manuscript. Over twenty have read a portion. Add to that people who have been integral in other ways with my growth as a writer.
What impresses me the most about all of this is how much difference there is between a thank you list for my first novel versus my most current work. I didn’t have many readers for that first novel. I wasn’t as involved in the writing community yet, and didn’t have my great group of local support. This support makes a world of difference. My most recent book is exponentially better because of all the feedback I’ve garnered on the work. Readers have pushed me to hone this manuscript into something better and better with each draft. I’ve learned so much about writing and publishing.
All of this has given me some much needed perspective as I am knee-deep in the revision of RIDING THE BLIND. This work feels like it has so much potential and I have a long list of people to thank for that.