Thirty by Leslie Kelly
In January, 2008, my Blaze release ONE WILD WEDDING NIGHT, will become my thirtieth published work.
The number stuns me, for any number of reasons. Frankly, I haven’t managed to do “thirty” of much in my life. I’ve never lost the thirty pounds I need to lose. I never took thirty college classes so I never finished my degree. I can’t go more than thirty minutes without a Diet Coke. I’ve rarely got thirty bucks in my wallet. Going thirty hours without internet would probably kill me. Unlike a lot of women, I don’t have thirty purses or pairs of shoes. And I haven’t written thirty pages of the book I’m supposed to be delivering in umm…well, never mind that.
I look back at the entire bookshelf filled with my books and I am both gratified and a little sad. There’s a huge sense of accomplishment in seeing the visual results of my efforts. There’s also a disappointment in feeling like the thirty-book-author nobody’s ever heard of.
When I sold my first book in November of 1997, I had starry-eyed dreams. And on that day, if somebody had told me I would have thirty books in print within the next ten years, I would have pictured the bestseller lists, movie deals, feather boas and bon bons.
Uh, not. See that sentence above about the bucks in my wallet.
Still, despite those moments when I sit back and wonder, “Will this be the one, the book that grabs some attention?” I also have to think of another list of thirty: thirty jobs I could be doing that are a whooooole lot worse.
I could definitely come up with thirty for that list. Or fifty. Or one hundred. Piece o’ cake. (Probably starting with truck driver and ending with President of the United States.)
That fact is what keeps me plugging along. That and knowing I’ve really enjoyed writing most of those thirty books. I’ve loved getting to know the people within their pages and have laughed, cried, gasped and fallen in love right along with them. And that’s enough. If it weren’t, odds are nobody would stay in this business, because damn, it’s a tough one.
So you take the pleasures where you can get them…
Thirty good words in a paragraph. Thirty minutes of uninterrupted writing time. Thirty people who show up at a chat. Thirty emails from happy readers. Thirty days before you have to deliver the next book. Thirty “you can do it’s” from your hubby and your kids. Thirty minutes of plotting/bitching/griping/drinking with your writing buddies. Thirty minutes in a bubble bath, reading something wonderful and knowing you were the one who wrote it.
Who knows…maybe thirty more books. And thirty bon bons to go along with them.