I’m not one of those accusing Martin for not being a reader’s bitch and watching football instead of writing, but I do “blame” him for this:

– I am heading up to Toronto in less than two weeks.
– Back home after that, and back at work, but then at month’s end I am off again, this time to the UK
– In between all this, I have, hmmmmm, lemme see, one two three four FIVE projects that I am currently working on

This on top of him taking almost all of the past year off from writing ASoIaF.

Everyone is free of making his own choices, but this speaks loudly about priorities. You just don’t commit to more “projects” if you feel like your big one already takes all you can give and is at serious risk of not being completed.

Martin just isn’t Steven Erikson, or Dan Abnett or Brandon Sanderson, who have demonstrated they can handle and deliver what they commit to. I’m not there to judge what he does and how he does it, nor I’m complaining that he so candidly tells us. The problem is that he seems out of touch with the reality of what he’s doing.

The problem is fitting in your own plans. If you’re aware that finishing a book can take you years you don’t plan a seven book series, or even let slip between the lines that two books won’t be enough to close it. You need to plan realistically around what you can deal with. Ambition requires commitment. If you plan large then you need to commit large as well.

So the issue is not that Martin indulges with distractions or watches football instead of writing all day long. The issue is that his series has not the priority and commitment that it requires in order to be realistically finished.

Recently on the forums there was a discussion about when someone’s talent peaks in writing. There are plenty of exceptions to make a rule, but it’s not unlikely that the older Martin gets the more problems he’ll have dealing with the intricacies and smallest details of his work. The mind can stay sharp, but it’ll likely have problems dealing with the sheer number of small parts involved. It should be in his own interest to stay focused on his work and handle it the best he can while he can do it, but he seems more interested in finding excuses to divert his attention to other things.

Do one thing, and do it well. Do you even TRUST who you’ll be in ten years? Are you sure he’ll do a better job than what you can do now?

Compare to someone giving her best:

Destiny’s Conflict will get finished on schedule.

If I took that long to get a book down, I think I would perish of boredom…the only conceivable delay would not be caused by guilty pleasures, but if financial need reared its ugly head and I had to find a day job. With gas prices and cost of living sending all expenses rocketing up, sales of the books will have to rise to compensate.

Every working author I know is swimming in the same rat race. :)

Well, not Martin’s case, obviously:

me and my assistants and my accountant must find time to prepare my taxes, so I can write the IRS the biggest check that I have written in my life.

For some writers the possibility to commit and focus on one project is a privilege they wish they could have.

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  1. […] not work. Even if Martin manages to bring in Winds of Winter in his promised two-year time frame, (which, one doubts) what then? Do we really hope that the seventh book will finish it […]

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