This may sound pretentious, but I’m writing the acknowledgments to my manuscript, even though the MS has not even made it to a first complete draft. I do this, in part, because I have raging ADD, and would never remember everyone who I needed to thank if I didn’t write it down now.
But it’s become a small testament to community. I’m not the only one who has a stake in my finishing the fucker. No one cares as much as I do, of course; but it reminds me that other people find my project interesting. It reminds me that I’m not completely alone in this little endeavor.
Sometimes I look at the list of names and it’s like flipping through photographs of friends. I get to read my friends’ formal writer names. (Liz becomes Elizabeth, and other people add their more specifically ethnic middle names to their otherwise ethnically nonspecific names; it’s an interesting trend.) It reminds me to be grateful to the librarians.
But mostly I keep an acknowledgment list because it makes my leggy manuscript feel like it might eventually see the light of day. What do you do?