Let me start by saying that I am a BIG fan of George R.R. Martin. His novels are pieces of literary heaven, and let's face it, the fantastic HBO series GAME OF THRONES would not exist if it were not for him. His worlds are epic, and his stories are visionary. That all being said, it's not his work that I have a problem with, it's his work ethic.
Now before you start crucifying me for saying such a thing, hear me out. I know what it's like to write. I've written fiction, screenplays and even copy for both television and radio advertising. OK I get that it's nothing like what Mr. Martin needs to produce, but hey it's still writing. Writing is hard. It always has been and always will be. It's common sense that to become a better writer, you should work on your craft if not daily, then every other day. And if you're getting paid handsomely for producing work, then you should be able to meet deadlines.
By now, if you're a fan of George R.R. Martin, you probably know that he hasn't delivered a draft of the eagerly anticipated THE WINDS OF WINTER. He wrote a 1600 word essay explaining why. He cites many reasons, many are life related which I get. But the one reason he gives that really makes no sense to me, as an aspiring writer, is that he never has liked the idea of deadlines. Really?
Deadlines are the lifeline of many writers. If you're fortunate enough to have deadlines then you shouldn't complain because that means you're getting compensated for your work. Congrats! Mr. Martin has missed not only his first deadline which was Halloween, but his publishers gave him another two-months to deliver, call it goodwill. Except he also missed his second deadline to deliver a transcript to his publisher and editors. I don't get that. To be clear, I'm not angry. What I am is confused.
George R.R. Martin makes a lot of money for a lot of people, himself included. He has much more pull than many other writers have, but for him to miss two deadlines is unacceptable. There are many other writers who are just as talented as Mr. Martin who deliver when asked to. And there will be just as talented writers in the future who will deliver when asked to. What Mr. Martin has done is open a door to all these current and future writers to just ignore deadlines set by their publishers. Or so I think and that to me is sad.
In closing I am going to reiterate that I am a big fan of Mr. Martin's work. And I'm not the only one, there are literally millions of fans, and from many comments I've read from his blog, not many of them are upset that he didn't deliver on time either. So really is it a moot point? I don't believe it is because, like I already said, deadlines are life. Heck, if I didn't set any deadlines for myself this post wouldn't have been possible. Right?