Thursday, May 14, 2009


- not your bitch.
I'm glad NEIL GAIMAN agrees with me (I've commented on Aidan's post back in January) and James (link to his post).

To reiterate my comment:

" I usually stay away from GRRM debates, it’s become pointless over the years. Some people are just to thick or plain obsessed to be reached with rational arguments. My stand evolves around the following conviction: GRRM is a writer, and even though this is his profession, it is also a form of art, creative endeavour…you can’t put a deadline on art; well…you can, but the results won’t be satisfying in most cases. I don’t care if he is an outliner or a freewriter, he gets the job done in the end and the only standards he has to live up to are his own, and the only obligation he has is to himself. I’m as big a fan as there is, but I haven’t thought even once that I’m in any kind of position to pester George about it. I don’t care when he does it, as long as he does it the best he can. Fu** the griefers and the bullys and the offended fans, if he does it right, his work will be praised and cherished for decades to come (if not more).

Is George being unprofessional; from mere business perspective - yes, but profession and art don’t go always hand in hand. I think he has chosen the right path.

And why are people upset anyway? There are so MANY good to great authors out there, stellar work is being published almost on weekly basis; do yourself a favour, stop obsessing about ASoIaF and go read something else, if you call yourself a book lover. Breathing down your favorite author’s back and making his life more difficult than it already is is not only distasteful, but plain rude. GRRM seems as a sensible fellow, not entirely unconcerned about what passes around him.

Why shouldn’t he make posts about football and favorite figurines…it is his right and privilege to do so. He is only a human being, not a Writer 24/7 for god’s sake. If you don’t care for his human side, don’t read his not a blog, period. Writers are arstists, creatives…they need inspiration and time for the fruition of their ideas; please don’t rush them.

I’ve only touched upon the topic, but I’ve made my stand clear, I might have even fought fire with fire, but the attitude of some people demanding this and that really bothers me. I don’t believe that writers are untouchable, but some people really go to far. "

And here's what James from Speculative Horizons had to say on the matter:
" I almost called this post 'A Dance With Dickheads' because that's how I view some of the 'fans' that constantly berate George R. R. Martin for the delay in delivering A Dance With Dragons, but then that would just be stooping to their level.

I have posted on this subject before, and I'll now post on it again since the issue of the delay with Dance has once more reared its ugly head. Shawn Speakman proved the spark this time, with an interesting article about how whether any of the criticism of George is justified. Since then, other bloggers have given their views on the whole business:

Wert has written an excellent piece that explains the reason for the discussion in the first place, before giving his own reaction to the various accusations of the 'antifans' (I like that term, it has a nice ring to it...).

Aidan has given his thoughts here (look for the well-considered comment by blogger Thrinidir).

Graeme has also waded into the debate, including an amusing story about the time he met GRRM himself...

I'm a huge fan of GRRM, and naturally I've got my own feelings on the matter. Whereas my fellow bloggers have written carefully considered articles, I'm going to just have a good rant. Apologies in advance if it's a little incoherent...

George R. R. Martin is an amazingly talented writer, and A Song of Ice and Fire is a brilliant fantasy series. We should be grateful that we have had the chance to read his work, and we should appreciate the blood, sweat and tears that he has put into it. Let's be honest here - the guy's given his readers an unsurpassed reading experience and countless hours of enjoyment (and by that I mean not just by reading the books, but debating their many mysteries online). GRRM's work is something to be celebrated and cherished.

Yet sadly we have 'fans' who spend their time berating GRRM's apparent tardiness, demanding fresh news on the long-awaited next novel, and whining about how he's being 'disrespectful' by refusing to reveal how close the book is to completion. These deluded antifans think GRRM should be writing 24/7 to deliver Dance, that he shouldn't watch another second of NFL until the manuscript is turned in, and that when he's not writing he should be updating us all on his progress. GRRM, they squeal, 'owes' us.

What absolute bullshit. GRRM owes us nothing, and anyone who says he's being disrespectful to his fans is deluded. The guy's a human for fuck's sake, not a bloody machine (can you tell I'm getting angry now?). He can't write for 24 hours a day. More than that, just like anyone else, he's entitled to his free time. He needs his free time. So what if he blogs about NFL? So what if he blogs about politics? It's his blog - he can blog about whatever the hell he wants (Aidan, I'm afraid I completely disagree that he should only blog about ASOIAF!).

Oh, but it's distracting him from his writing, they say. He's wasting time that he could spend writing ASOIAF. More bullshit - check out Wert's post for the reason why that argument is a load of hot air.

Look, I'm as big a fan as the next person. ASOIAF is my all-time favourite fantasy series. I am looking forward massively to Dance. But I'm not being a tosser and whining about how long it's taking, and I just don't see why some people feel the need to. There's loads of excellent books by other authors out there, so go and read something else while you wait!

What many readers don't understand is that writing is an organic process. It ebbs and flows. It's not like a factory conveyor belt, churning out the same product every time. You have good days and bad days. Sometimes you hit a brick wall and can't get past it. Other times, you feel unstoppable. You just can't rush it. You have to take your time. Writing isn't easy, as some people think. It's bloody hard at times - as someone who's had work published before, I know this from personal experience. We just have to accept that Dance will be done when it's done, and only GRRM knows when that will be (or maybe not even he knows).

Look, I don't deny that GRRM made a mistake saying Dance would follow closely on the heels of Feast. With hindsight, that was the spark that led to all these pointless flame wars and I think GRRM would be the first to admit that he's learned a lesson. However, I wouldn't go as far to call him unprofessional, which is the stance that Speakman takes. Go ask his publisher and see if they give you the same answer - I doubt it somehow.

I admit the odd update on his progress would be appreciated. But even when he did give us updates, people complained about their lack of frequency. So he's criticised if he does give updates and criticised if he doesn't. No wonder it drove him nuts and he gave up on updates altogether. I think some people would only be satisfied if he updated us every day, and that is just never going to happen.

You know what riles me the most? The antifans that claim GRRM is rude/discourteous to his fans. That is a total crock of shit. I've met GRRM, and as I've said before, he's a true gent. Great sense of humour, very humble and really down-to-earth. When I told him I dabbled in short fiction, he asked me what I'd had published. He then gave me a few words of advice. Discourteous? Disrespectful? Hardly.

In fact, it's the antifans that are being disrespectful. Hurling abuse at a man that has given them so much enjoyment is childish, petulant and downright stupid. We should show GRRM the respect he deserves, and wait patiently while he makes Dance as good as it can be. If it takes another five years, then so be it. I'll still be here. "


Peat said...

Amen, brother.


I bought an office studio and am taking a week off this summer to paint it. :)

Madwand said...

Hey Peter,

hope your studio turns out the way you want it.
I'm just enjoying myself immensely reading The Painted Man, so I have this selfish reason for you to feel good in your new working environment. :)

On topic: I don't see how people can believe they have a right to make any kinds of demands on a writer.. Ah well. :)

ThRiNiDiR said...

Yeah Peat, we should take time and discuss the colour we are gonna pick for your new office studio :p.

Peat said...

Got the colors picked already. I'm recreating my current office exactly in the new studio (forest green with brown trim), and then repainting this office with pink walls and superheroine murals for my daughter.

ThRiNiDiR said...

And we was hoping for a genuine Bat Cave :p.

On a side note, or rather, straight on topic...I've been repainting and redecorating my apar...I mean room for the better part of last week (one wall is burgundy red and others are classic white). Painting the room goes quickly, but what then follows is tedious (dusting the closets especially).


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