George R.R. Martin Admits That Pressure From Book Readers And HBO Is Affecting His Ability To Finish

As we fumble closer toward the fifth season of Game of Thrones without a sixth book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, the CULTURE WARS between the book readers and the non book readers continue to heat up. Lately, the non-book readers are winning, after Maisie Williams told them to stop being mean snobs, and George R.R. Martin literally told the book readers to f**k off. And while writing a letter to the 13-year-old fan who wanted to die a grisly death kept Martin from working on his book, it also gained him some sympathy, which might have bought him more time.

Now, George R.R. Martin is basically telling the world that you should leave him the hell alone, because the pressure to finish is actually hurting his ability to do so. Here’s what he says about the pressure affecting him to New Mexico in Focus, via Escapist Magazine:

Yes, to some extent [the pressure] does [affect me], but when the writing is going well it doesn’t matter. When I’m there and working, I just kind of fall through my computer screen and I forget the world, I forget deadlines, I forget the TV show, and the emails, and all of that stuff. It’s just me and the characters and the world that I’m describing, and I’m writing a page at a time, and a scene at a time, and a word at a time.

He continues, also mentioning the insane conspiracy theory that the books are already done and he’s withholding them to maximize profit:

I certainly feel a desire to finish the book. And it must be said that while I do get a lot of emails and mail of the type you’re describing, there are also many, many that are supportive, and probably far more of people saying “take your time, I love your books, whenever you’re ready I’ll be here.” Of course which is an attitude that I find far more pleasant than the “when will it be done?” I’ve actually given up answering the question “when will it be done?” In the early days, especially after the third book, because the fourth book took a really long time, and I kept being wrong. People said when will it be done, and I’d give an answer and it would not be done by then, I would run into some problem, or decide to rewrite, or I would change course. And once you give a date and then you miss that date, there’s an element of the audience that thinks you’re doing it deliberately. There are even some strange conspiracy theorists out there who are convinced that I finished the whole thing years ago but I’m just hiding the books in my cellar and releasing them in order to maximize something or other. There’s a lot of craziness that goes on, but it’s pressure, and the obligation is to the work itself. I’m telling a story, however many books you divide it into, three books, four books, seven books, which is what I’m presently going for, it’s one story, as much as as Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings is one story. It has a beginning, it has a lot of middle, and eventually it will have an end.

Personally, I think Martin’s inability to finish the series goes back to Karma. He crapped on Damon Lindelof’s ending to Lost, and now the Gods are repaying him by keeping him from writing one at all. Let this be a lesson to all authors: Don’t sh*t talk your colleagues. It all comes back around.

Source: New Mexico This Week