George R.R. Martin hasn’t been imprisoned for not finishing The Winds of Winter, but he is living in a prison of his own making. On his Not a Blog (“current mood: contemplative”), the A Song of Ice and Fire author shared that he’s “back in Westeros again, once more moving ahead with WINDS OF WINTER” and detailed his writing process. Decades ago, he would work in his home office, but as his fame grew, he bought the house across the street from where he lived and used that as his retreat; Martin also went from one assistant to five assistants, whom he calls his “minions.”
Martin is currently self-exiled in a cabin in the mountains, where he lives a “very boring” life. “Truth be told, I hardly can be said to have a life. I have one assistant with me at all times. The assistants do two-week shifts, and have to stay in quarantine at home before starting a shift,” he wrote, leaving out whether the minions get paid in bananas.
Everyone morning I wake up and go straight to the computer, where my minion brings me coffee (I am utterly useless and incoherent without my morning coffee) and juice, and sometimes a light breakfast. Then I start to write. Sometimes I stay at it until dark. Other days I break off in late afternoon to answer emails or return urgent phone calls. My assistant brings me food and drink from time to time. When I finally break off for the day, usually around sunset, there’s dinner. Then we watch television or screen a movie. The wi-fi sucks up on the mountain, though, so the choices are limited. Some nights I read… I sleep. The next day, I wake up, and do the same. The next day, the next day, the next day.
Since March, when the world went into lockdown due to COVID-19, Martin has gone “weeks and months” without “[leaving] the cabin, or see another human being except whoever is on duty that week. I lose track of what day it is, what week it is, what month it is. The time seems to [go] by very fast.”
Not every writer has written Game of Thrones, but every writer can relate with the writer of Game of Thrones. Especially the “not other human beings and losing track of time and living a boring life of sad isolation” thing. Good luck, George!
(Via Not a Blog)