The difficult beauty of an acknowledgements page

So I wrote a book, and part of writing it was to draw up an acknowledgements page. It turns out that writing acknowledgements is harder than writing the book itself.

It’s not that it’s hard to come up with people to thank – I’m overwhelmed by the people in my life who have contributed to who I am, to my wellbeing, to my sanctity, to the fact that I can put one foot in front of another each day. People who have contributed to my writing, my knowledge, my skills; to my very existence on this planet: to the fact that I didn’t step off the edge of the world when life was too dark to see any hope, to the fact that I’ve come through the darkest times in living with post-traumatic stress disorder without unravelling completely.

No – coming up with people to whom I am deeply grateful was easy. What was hard was getting my acknowledgements page down from four-odd-thousand words to a document small enough to be slotted into a book.

That was bloody near impossible.

But I did it, and I’m sitting uneasily with the knowledge that in acknowledging some people, I’m missing out on acknowledging others, even as I’m rejoicing in the opportunity to say the public thanks that I otherwise wouldn’t necessarily have the chance to say.

And I feel like I should write more acknowledgements pages. Not for publication, but because the very act of listing names reminded me of how utterly blessed I am. How profoundly life-giving it is to be surrounded, and to have been surrounded my whole life, by people who nurture me, who love me, and who show me the love of God, who are God and love and light and life itself to me. People who probably have no idea of what an impact they have had upon me, but to whom I owe everything.

If I write a thousand books, I can never write an acknowledgement page which expresses the depth of gratitude I feel.

But it’s almost worth writing a thousand books, to have the opportunity for it.


Also, last night’s post was my three-hundredth. Yay.


Back on track…

…and reeling, just slightly.

But I’m in my new place, unpacked and settled in. The book I’ve been writing is done, and edited, and re-edited, and I’m even partway towards organising the Newcastle book launch, which apparently is actually a more challenging feat than writing the thing in the first place. The (paid) work project is almost over, and the light’s at the end of the tunnel. And the chest infection (hello, run-down and depleted immune system: sorry about that) is almost, but not quite, a thing of the past. At least I can have a conversation now without my lungs threatening to turn themselves inside-out.

And I wrote a book, and I have a new house and lots of lovely thinking time on my daily commute (sorry, car – no more life of leisure for you), and my hometown is quiet, and when I go outside at night I can see the stars.

And did I mention that I wrote a book?