Are authors obliged
It seems that George RR Martin is having a hard time of it. As a writer, he has created some masterpieces, one of which is the world-wide phenomena, Game of Thrones, though … he is yet to finish book 6, Winter Is Coming. And I’ve seen that his fans are not happy.
I have read his series so far and, I too, would love to read the last book, but I don’t put much thought into it. Like tomorrow, it will come. In the meantime, I plug away at my own musings. I have a series on the go also, one for middle-graders and upwards, but I don’t have fans bashing on my door wanting to know where book number three is. (This could have something to do with the fact that I don’t have my film contract yet.) However, this is irrelevant.
What is relevant is that writing is a lonely event. It requires hours of dedication, thought, plotting, planning and downright hard work. It’s not just a matter of throwing some words together, everything needs to make sense, the characters must remain true, the story must be engaging/scary/emotional/easy to read and, heaven forbid, you forget where you left one of your people like I did once. It’s hard yakka at times, especially when one needs to read and re-read, change edit, and edit some more. And that is before you are anywhere near the submission stage.
Ask yourself this … how well would you cope with this commitment? It’s a big ask. Especially since GRR Martin is only human. He has a life … another life that is not about writing. It’s about family, friends, other interests and simply wanting to just take a break away from it all. So, I guess, the answer to my original question is … no. (Neil Gaiman said it first, by the way) Those good people who plug away at word processors day after day for your entertainment owe you nothing. Instead of harrassing them, cut them a bit of slack. Go look for something else to fill in the emptiness you’re feeling, because you might actually discover something else just as good. And think on all this next time you become impatient about your favourite book series, TV programs or movie franchises. Life is an adventure, not a habit.
PS – In case anyone’s interested … I have a life too. And it doesn’t involve disturbing the dust bunnies multiplying happily under my bed, or evicting those web-making villains that are planning their next housing project. It involves … Hello … is anybody there? Helloooo …
(C) Margaret R Blake 25-01-2017