Rebecca Eckler is one of Canada's most talked about newspaper columnists, the author of Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother to Be, which has been translated into nine languages. Also the author of the bestsellers, Wiped!, Toddlers Gone Wild, and Rotten Apple, the first in a YA series. Random thoughts on life in the competitive world of modern mommyhood. Blog will be loved by trendy mothers who still feel, or often feel, that the most important word in "mommee" is ME!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

How to (Professionally) Thank People...

Where have I been? Where have I been?

I'm sorry. Basically, life got in the way of blogging. Don't you hate when that happens?

I have two books coming out next year. Which I'm happy about. One is the follow up to Knocked Up. Another is the first in a series of teen fiction books.

But, basically, I'm editing both at the same time. Which means just as I feel, "Ok, phew, finished that edit!" in the mail arrives some more pages for me to edit from the other book.

And, then, once I finish those and think, "OK, phew, finished that edit!" well, the first book comes back at me again, like a boomerang.

In any case, I finished (this round) of both books, just in time to head to Arizona for the long weekend. I've learned from past long weekends away, that you can't really enjoy yourself if you're thinking about deadlines and things you should have finished before you left but didn't.

This is all to say that I wanted to go away without any work on my brain. And I've accomplished that. Except I just know something will be waiting for me upon my return. But I have a few days before that happens.

I'm not sure about other authors, but the least fun part for me of writing a book is doing the acknowledgments. I know, I know. How hard can it be? I mean, don't you just thank everyone who ever meant anything to you?

Well, when my first book came out, I kind of did just that. I thanked basically everyone in the world. (I even thank Peggy Atwood, who I love!)

This time, for Wiped! (the follow up), nope. This time I thanked those who actually mean something to me, or who meant something to me during the writing of it.

I thank the people who worked on the book, my agent, and then some friends and family.

I said to the fiance when I was done, "It's so weird to write out a list of people who mean something to me." Because it has changed - somewhat drastically, since when I found out I was pregnant, when I wrote the first one, to now.

First off, unlike the first book, I only thank those people who I have talked to at least once a week since giving birth.

Being a mother means making time for friends, because you don't actually have that much free time. So, I figure, if I made the time to call them, it means I like them and care about them.

Likewise, most of the people I thank this round have also called me often.

Being a mother makes you realize who your friends are.

A lot of my "friends" dropped off the face of the planet in the few months after I gave birth.

This could be because they probably weren't really "friends" but more work-related friends, and since I've mostly become a full-time book writer, I don't have as many "work friends."

Also, I'm older (and maybe being a mother has made me wiser) but I don't thank people who were only friends on the "party-circuit" this round. I so don't care anymore about being seen in the scene. I really do care about toilet training.

Sure, I love seeing my party-circuit friends, but, come on, they really didn't help me out with the book. I'll still buy them a drink or two, but, well, you know.

Then there are the bosses. At The Globe and Mail, where I write a weekly column in the style section, I thank two of my editors, because I've really enjoyed working with them. Also, they were technically around while writing this book. I don't thank any of my editors at Last Place Of Employment, because, well, they weren't around for this book.

I thank two or three of my freelance editors, who I talk to once a month or so. But I really respect them. So they'll always get thanks, for all of my books.

And I actually thank all the readers of Because, when I thought about who really has gotten me through a lot of this thing called Mothering, it was you guys. (And hey, you guys made it, Peggy Atwood didn't! Doesn't that mean something?)

But, trust me, if you are a mother, don't write out a list of friends (which, basically, is an acknowledgement list.) Because you'll wonder what happened to some of your friends and that will depress the fuck out of you.

Then again, you'll look at your now smaller list and think to yourself, "This is what it's like to have real friends."

And that's kind of nice. It's actually kind of very nice.


Blogger Annie, The Evil Queen said...

I think the acknowledgements and the dedication would both be quite difficult. My list of friends always seems to be in flux, but we move a lot, so that makes things tricky. I'm a huge fan of a small but dedicated core of friends. Glad you've found yours.

9:58 PM

Blogger chichimama said...

Well, I never had that many friends in the first place ;-), but my list has gotten smaller since the kids, and since the move to the burbs. Now I have two cuts, those who dropped me cause of he kids and then those who dropped me because I moved out of the city. The list is actually longer of people who dropped me because they can't stand the burbs...apparently it was easier to put up with kids if it didn't involve green grass.

Congrats on almost finishing your books!

3:40 AM

Blogger Julie Julie Bo Boolie said...

I can honestly say that most of the REAL friends I have in this life were made after I had kids. If you love someone enough to trust them to babysit your child.. well that's a friend for LIFE.

GL on your new books!

6:08 AM

Blogger joyce said...

I just bought Knocked Up! It was delivered by Amazon yesterday. I ordered it because I wanted to read it while I'm on holidays next week. I promised myself I wouldn't start reading it until I was on the officially start "relaxing" and enjoying my vacation...but once again I've proven that I have no willpower and cracked it open last night...promising myself to just read ONE PAGE...just to see what it was all about. Then I thought I will just read until you take the pregnancy test. Then I had to find out how the Fiance would react. And so on and so on. I literally FORCED myself to stop, because then I will have to buy another book to read by Saturday. I LOVE the book so far. Just wanted to let you know...

7:05 AM

Anonymous Toronto Gal said...

Rebecca- is that the Dictator on the cover of Wiped!? Cute cover either way.

7:50 AM

Blogger Gabriella said...

Good friends are hard to come by. I realized this after the birth of my daughter, I now find myself thinking that motherhood sometimes is the most loneliest job out there. But having one good friend who you can count on makes it worth every moment. I'm still searching for that person. Maybe because I'm the only one from my group of "friends" that went and got married and had a baby.
Anywhoo have fun in Arizona!

8:33 AM

Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Aaaaw - you like us, you really like us!

Seriously, though, I actually think writing out a list of acknowledgements is probably a good exercise even if you're not writing a book - it would probably remind me (as you say) of who really matters...

9:18 AM

Blogger Rebecca said...

That was very sweet! And I love that you thank your blog readers!!

I think, if I had to write out a list of acknowledgements, it'd be longer in the end than even I would expect. We (the boys and I) have been very blessed.

9:20 AM

Blogger Laural Dawn said...

Just so you know, I always read the acknowledgements, because I think they are really interesting. But, better you than me having to list friends. I think that would kill me.
And, as excited as I am about Wiped I'm also really excited about teen fiction books. My friends tease me for shopping in the teen section of Indigo, but there are some good books there that are so easy to read and enjoyable.

11:16 AM

Blogger Jen said...

I just read an exert from Wiped! today and it sounds hilarious (and, of course, well written). I'll have to pick up a copy. I appreciate your approach to both writing and motherhood!


4:04 PM

Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

I've never thought about defining your best friends as those you talk to at least once a week, but that's a pretty good way to think about it. The interesting thing is that I don't talk to too many of my friends on the phone once a week, but I communicate with my blogger friends MORE than once a week. I guess you CAN build real friendships through blogging. And real good friendships at that!

9:08 PM

Blogger Jezer said...

OK, the fact that you call M.A. "Peggy" blows me smooth away.

Congratulations on finishing this round and enjoy a restful weekend!

5:43 AM

Blogger Kristen said...

It's so true that your list of friends changes after you have a baby. Some people (in my opinion) are just too selfish to share you with your new (and more important) family. It's depressing, but I say good riddance like dirty bath water. Or whatever the saying is. lol.

7:06 AM

Blogger Jennifer P said...

Great post -- I'm getting to that shift in friends already. Have a nice weekend.

7:44 AM

Blogger Ashley said...

That's awesome that you have two books coming out!!

If I had to write acknowledgements I'd definitely have to give some space for the Bloggers because they have been around for a lot of my life in the last couple of years.

2:04 PM

Anonymous mothergoosemouse said...

Congrats on the two books - what an accomplishment! And what a great perspective you have on how our social and professional circles change over time.

6:51 PM

Blogger petite gourmand said...

well put.
it's really interesting how the ol' social circle changes
I'm sure none of my "fabulous friends" really want to hear about our teething woes..
just as I really could care less about who they are shagging each weekend...
okay, that's not entirely true...
it's still kind of fun hearing all the dirty details...nothing wrong with living vicariously..;)
have a fun long weekend.

10:00 AM

Anonymous Mum Downunder said...

Here ya loud and clear. When I first became pregnant the relationship with my closest friend dramatically changed. Now that she's had a baby, we're back on track. It's amazing what having kids can do to a friendship, or what you thought was a friendship in some cases.

4:53 AM

Blogger metro mama said...

That's the good part about blogging--no editing required.

5:58 AM

Anonymous wendy boucher said...

I hate acknowledgement-writing too. I'm going to keep it amazingly short next time around so nobody can feel slighted because virtually nobody will be included.

Last time I left off two of my book club members after thanking all the rest of them by name. YIKES!

10:12 AM

Anonymous Much More Than A Mom said...

Congrats on the upcoming books! Shucks - how flattering to be in the list. I think I might actually go make that list for myself - as depressing as it may be.

4:54 PM

Blogger Haley-O said...

Aww... We love you, too.... :)

In my MA thesis, I thanked my pets. Isn't that a little crazy? I didn't care. I wanted to thank them. :) ...Wanna hear really crazy? My professor thanked two squirrels that she befriended and fed in her backyard (she even named them and reserved a paragraph of gratitude for them). As much as people roll their eyes at that and call her crazy, I think it was a really sweet gesture because she was being honest and truly grateful (rather than simply doing the obligatory thing). So, thank whomever you're grateful to. (great advice, there, huh...sorry ;) )

I'm really looking forward to your forthcoming books!

9:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you realize that people expect you to write everyday? And that when you don't, it's kind of insulting? It's been a week since your last post, at least please tell us when you won't be able to post for a while!

7:06 AM

Blogger GoBetty said...

To Anon at 7:06. A) have the balls to identify yourself. B) Blogging is anytime, anywhere, self-edit (or not), completely at the whim of the writer, not at the whim of the reader. It is not regular like a morning poo or the 6 o'clock news. As a reader, you take it as it comes. If you don't like it, surf on outta here momma.

7:00 AM


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