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Friday, February 20, 2009

GRRM: Tired of Your Crap

...and for good reason. This was brought to my attention by a friend (whose blog I would mention here, except I'm not sure he or she would like me to for very complicated reasons):
Apparently GRRM is pretty much sick and tired of all of you out there yelling at him about the lateness of his next book. In fact, what I thought were a few fan complaints here or there are actually massive whiny fits by people who a) don't know what it's like to be a writer, and b) are selfish, rude jackasses. In GRRM's words:
Some of you hate my other projects. You don't want me co-editing WARRIORS or the Vance anthology or STAR-CROSSED LOVERS or any of the other projects I'm doing with my old friend Gardner Dozois, and you get angry when I post about them here. For reasons I don't quite comprehend, the people who hate those projects seem to hate WILD CARDS even more. You really don't want me working on that, "wasting time" on that, and posting about it here.

Some of you don't want me attending conventions, teaching workshops, touring and doing promo, or visiting places like Spain and Portugal (last year) or Finland (this year). More wasting time, when I should be home working on A DANCE WITH DRAGONS.
There's plenty more at the link I listed above, but these are good examples of the kinds of crap GRRM is dealing with in comments, at message boards, and in emails, the latter of which, to me, seems exceedingly rude. His response was basically a friendly way of saying "f*ck off," showing us that GRRM loves his fans more than they seem to love him (or are those folks who are ripping on him really his fans?).

My response to all this is somewhat less friendly: STFU. That stands for "shut the f*ck up," in case you were unaware.

I know this may be hard for all of you out there to understand, but GRRM does have a life. He is allowed to watch football and have friendly bets with friends. He's allowed to travel, to visit his family, to hang out with his buddies, to have a few beers here or there, to go out for a smoke (or a nice waltz in the sun), and he's allowed to have marital relations (assuming he's married). And you know what? He doesn't even reserve a lot of his time for that. He spends a lot of time teaching, going to conventions to visit YOU, the fans, editing books, and writing short stories, etc. The man has a career. He doesn't owe you anything. I may not be a reader of his books, and I certainly have opinions on the whole wait thing, as outlined here, but I'm not going to get on this man's case for trying to have a life and trying to maintain a career.

Writing a book isn't easy. It's not something that takes a few months to churn out, especially not works like GRRM's, which are complex and long. It took me almost a year to write WISB, and that book is in rough shape at best (plot holes, grammar and spelling errors, etc.). And it's taken me a lot longer to get SoD written for probably the same reasons that GRRM is taking his time. Plots don't get simpler as a series progresses: they get more complicated, especially because as the series closes you are forced to begin sealing up all the holes. An author like GRRM has a lot to think about in regards to his characters, his themes, and his world. And all authors are different. Some may be able to churn out a decent book in three months; others may take a year or two. A lot of authors start off having an entire series already written. GRRM is going into this somewhat cold, I presume (well, as cold as you can be several books into a series).

And you know what? All this pressure, this pushing and prodding and bitching and fighting with him over how long it's taken him to write it: it's making it worse. He's not going to write this book faster if all you, his supposed fans, can do is bitch and moan over it. Sending him emails telling him he sucks and should stop having a life probably makes him unwilling to want to continue writing. He's already got editors breathing down his neck about this. They're not there to support him so much as push him to give them a product they can sell (he may have a good relationship with his editor/s, but that doesn't mean that the publisher isn't pushing). The last thing he needs is for the people that he cares so much about, who have made his career what it is today, to start throwing temper tantrums over his desire to maintain his sanity.

I hope this is one of those instances where karma comes into play. What goes around, comes around, right?

To conclude this rant, I'd like to reiterate: STFU. Leave him alone if all you're going to do is bitch. If you don't like waiting, then read something else. He's not the only one writing books. Jackasses.

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  1. Anonymous8:28 PM

    >The man has a career. He doesn't owe you anything.

    Actually, he kinda does, since he wouldn't get book deals if his fans didn't buy them, but whatever. Everything else you said is spot on!

  2. Point taken, but I would still say that his career doesn't revolve around these books. He's made a name for himself in the SF/F world doing a hell of a lot more than writing ASOIAF, but I get what you mean.

  3. Haranguing an author because he doesn't write fast enough is just another symptom of our instant-gratification society. It takes at least a year to write a good book for most authors, and he has a number of irons in the fire.

    I wait for every Robin McKinley, Laurel K Hamilton, Wen Spencer, and several other authors' books. Like you said, read something else. They print more books every day.

    Just noticed you linked to me. Thanks!

  4. How long is acceptable between books? 12 months? 18 months? 24months? 5 year?

  5. I left comments on other blogs concerning this topic.

    To keep it short: you're right!!

  6. writtenwyrdd: No problem. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment :). And I agree with the instant-gratification point.

    gav: To be honest? I don't think there is an acceptable time that we can all hold to. Personally I am not the type of person to wait for years and years; the difference with me is that I'm not going to email the author bitching at them for not getting it to me on my time table. I'll just read something else and possibly move on altogether. Acceptable all depends on you, and what matters beyond that is how you act when an author doesn't meet your personal standards. Just don't act like an jackass and I imagine all is well :P.

    ediFanoB: Haha, well I'm glad that I'm right at least this once.