Consider this your George R. R. Martin update of the day: yes, it is nearly 2016, but no, he has yet to complete the sixth book in the Game of Thrones series.
The notoriously slow writer has long been hounded in the media for a new book, particularly with the HBO television series having caught up to him and his previous book, A Dance with Dragons, leaving several characters’ storylines hanging on cliffs.
It’s like suddenly I get invited to travel to South Africa or Dubai and who’s passing up a free trip to Dubai?
He plans to end the series with book seven, titled A Dream of Spring, but as for when these novels will hit bookshelves, no one knows.
That doesn’t mean Martin isn’t trying. Speaking to The Independent, he said, “I don’t (write) that rigidly. I go over in the morning and sit down, I usually reread what I’ve done the day before to try to build up a little momentum. Sometimes if what I wrote the day before is not very good I spend the whole day rewriting what I did the day before.”
“In recent years all of the work I’ve been doing creates problems because it creates distraction,” he added. “Because the books and the show are so popular I have interviews to do constantly. I have travel plans constantly. It’s like suddenly I get invited to travel to South Africa or Dubai and who’s passing up a free trip to Dubai?”
I have assistants and minions whose main job is to make sure people don’t bother me so I can actually get writing done
Even his minions have proved useless: “I don’t write when I travel. I don’t write in hotel rooms. I don’t write on airplanes. I really have to be in my own house undisturbed to write. Though most of my life nobody did bother me but now everyone bothers me every day. I have assistants and minions whose main job is to make sure people don’t bother me so I can actually get writing done.”
Procrastination is an easy beast for anyone to understand, particularly with the way Martin handles it. “I found out long ago that when you look at the overall task, the cathedral you have to build, it looks so daunting that you just give up and sit down and play a video game,” he said.
But the author still has hope, saying, “Having The Winds of Winter published before season six of Thrones airs next spring has been important to me all along. I wish it was out now. Maybe I’m being overly optimistic about how quickly I can finish but I cancelled two convention appearances, I’m turning down a lot more interviews, anything I can do to clear my decks and get this done.”