We’re lord knows how many weeks into this bloody pandemic and, shock horror, it hasn’t exactly made us productive. Sure, we all started out with big dreams of turning this crisis into an opportunity. Hey, wouldn’t it be an efficient use of all that lockdown time if we finally wrote that novel we’ve had planned in our heads for years? Or how about getting on with all those DIY projects and picking up those new hobbies? Surely we’ll all have the energy, focus, and emotional wherewithal to be wildly successful in our endeavors? Ha. Ha. Haaaa…
Sorry, encouraging Twitter memes, but hearing that Shakespeare wrote King Lear during quarantine isn’t giving me the pep I need to stop staring at the wall for hours on end while I wonder about hand gel supplies and all those people on my street who seem to think that everything is a-okay now. However, it seems that lockdown has been productive for at least one person. Step forward George R.R. Martin.
Martin shared an update on his current situation on his blog, noting that he is currently in a cabin in the mountains like a mega-fancy writer hammering away at the long-awaited next installment of A Song of Ice and Fire. The Winds of Winter has been, to put it mildly, a long time coming for fans of Westeros, even after HBO’s Game of Thrones sh*t itself in spectacular fashion with that final season.
If nothing else, the enforced isolation has helped me write. I am spending long hours every day on THE WINDS OF WINTER, and making steady progress. I finished a new chapter yesterday, another one three days ago, another one the previous week. But no, this does not mean that the book will be finished tomorrow or published next week. It’s going to be a huge book, and I still have a long way to go. Please do not give any credence to any of the click-bait websites that like to parse every word of my posts as if they were papal encyclicals to divine hidden meanings.
I was heartbroken when CoNZealand was forced to go virtual due to the pandemic and I had to cancel my plans (exciting plans) for a long trip down to Wellington with Parris and my minions… but there is definitely a silver lining in that cloud. The last thing I need right now is a long interruption that might cost me all the momentum I have built up. I can always visit Wellington next year, when I hope that both Covid-19 and THE WINDS OF WINTER will be done.
So there you have it, fans. Progress. Now, get off the guy’s back!
Fans do seem to have calmed down with their fervor for the next Martin book, in part because the TV series ended so shoddily, but I think we’re also just trying to be less d**kish about these things. Shockingly, screaming at a man that you’re worried he may die before you get to read the end of a story doesn’t make someone want to or able to write quicker. I can’t imagine the smothering expectations on Martin’s shoulders to stick the landing here, especially since Benioff and Weiss made such a colossal mess with their own conclusion.
In other news, Martin recommends reading Stephen King’s latest short story collection, If It Bleeds, as well as The Glass Hotel, the new novel by Emily St. John Mandel. Thanks for the reminder, George! I also loved Station Eleven. Also, he bought a railroad. As you do.
Header Image Source: Getty Images.