Do you know what drives me nuts?
Hearing people talking about how some author “owes it to them” to get on with the next book in the series.
It boggles the mind to consider that there are people out there in the world who feel that because they’ve deigned to grace the author with their readership, the author owes it to them to get on with it and publish more books solely for the reader’s entertainment.
In other words, dance, my little entertaining monkey! Dance!
That’s complete and utter crap and I’m hoping that everyone reading this knows it.
When someone writes something…hell, when someone creates something and dares to share it with the world, it shouldn’t be seen as mere entertainment but more of a gift.
I read that last sentence out loud and it sounds really funny, not to mention more than a little presumptuous but to be honest, that’s how I feel.
Everything I write, from the full stories down to the smallest story fragment, feels like a child of my own blood. The thought of setting them free, with all of the flaws and handicaps that I’ve saddled them with, to make their own way in the world oftentimes scares me more than I care to admit.
Even with the nicest of readers you could ask to share your work with *coughtamistevencoughcough*, my heart leaps to my throat every single time I share a new piece.
So I can’t imagine how it would feel like to share a piece of your soul like that with a stranger to be met with anger on their part when you don’t write fast enough to suit them.
I feel so goddamned awful for poor George Martin, writer of the fantastic Game of Thrones series.
Around the time the television adaptation was slated to be released, the poor man was dealing with a pretty serious bout of depression.
Do you want to know why?
Not only was he struggling hugely with the next book in the series and acting as an adviser for the show, he was also dealing with a staggering amount of hate mail. Hate mail sent by people who demanded that he stop ‘wasting his time’ with the TV show and get his nose back to the grindstone so that he could churn out the next book in the series as soon as possible.
Just thinking about that makes me want to punch a kitten.
Now, I loved The Name of the Wind and my hunger to know how the story will end is something that nibbles away at me every single day, but by Rothfuss’s great and bushy beard, if he chose to stop writing tomorrow and never finished the story? There is no way that I would feel that I was owed the the rest of it.
I’m not saying I’d be happy about it. It would, of course, be heart-breaking news and there might even be a manly tear or two, but if the man chooses to no longer share his literary child with me, that’s entirely his prerogative.
Lucky for us, many of these authors love their work and are more than willing to share the results of that work with the general public.
But if an author didn’t enjoy what they were doing and wanted to pursue something else with their life, well…it would be rather selfish of us to chain them to a desk and demand they write for us, wouldn’t it?