I like reading acknowledgements in a book. I don't know one soul that they are thanking but it feels like it gives me a window into the author's life. And hey, I like windows.
Since I carefully tend a dream of someday writing a book, I have indulged in thoughts about my own acknowledgements. Surely I would thank my family. I think if I were busily writing a book they'd have to do all the dishes and that would mean some thank yous would be in order. I'd thank my loved ones for believing in me (husband, children, parents, siblings, friends). When I read acknowledgements, they often have a writing group to thank. I've often thought, "I want a writing group."
I have a writing group!
Six busy mothers, some with English degrees and some with ideas they want to write and some without have formed a group. We all come with carefully tended dreams and varied life experiences. I was a little nervous the first time I sent out a few chapters of my "novel" for them to critique. Fortunately (fortunately?) it was the same week I was asked to be primary president so I was a little distracted and didn't have too much time to devote to obsessing about their reactions.
It turns out I didn't need to be worried. Our writing group is one safe place. They kindly told me what they liked. They told me what worked. Then they told me what didn't. They asked questions. Good questions. There was a lot of "Oh, I hadn't thought of that," on my part. There was a realization that these ladies could help me make it better! Exciting stuff.
We met again last week. We had read what another member had written. It was so good! It was laugh out loud funny! What a thrill. We asked her clarifying questions. She noted where she'll change things to make them more clear. We gave her a wish list of what we wanted to know about her characters.
Then they turned to a few more chapters I had sent out. Their questions and wish list for me (as well as their dismay that things weren't working out how they wanted), sent my mind spinning. They filled me with the desire to write more.
There is something downright magical about what happens when women truly support each other. The collective power of a group of females reassuring you and offering constructive feedback and kindness is formidable indeed. It's exhilarating.
I will definitely be including them in my acknowledgements. You know, if I ever really need to write some. (A girl can dream, OK?)