I feel bad for George RR Martin. His Game of Thrones books and the TV show based on them are wildly popular. The fans love this world he’s created. They want more. They’re tired of waiting. But according to this new article and statement from Martin, they’re gonna have to hold on for a while longer. The next book, which was promised in 2016, isn’t ready.

Winter is coming. You know, eventually.

Winter is coming. You know, eventually.

Here what he has to say, and what it means for the series here.

Why do I feel bad for him? That’s a lot of pressure to deal with while trying to continue that series. Fans want a satisfying continuation of his work, but want it faster. They’ve been waiting. He certainly wants to oblige, that much is obvious. He could have rushed it to cash in on the demand, but obviously wants to provide a quality story that fans can enjoy.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Martin twice. The first time was maybe 10 years ago at OdysseyCon. I was just getting serious as a writer, and it was one of my first cons. He was a great guest of honor and had a kind word for everyone who spoke with him. He was generous with his time and a lot of fun to speak with. The next time I saw him was in 2013 or so when my first book Odd Men Out was released. They con we were at set up an all-authors signing in the ballroom of the con hotel. Every author got a table (or part of one) and Martin was at an elevated table at the front. After I set up my table, I stepped out into the hall for a moment. There, I found a line that started at the door nearest to Martin, went down the long hall and then around the corner. They were all (as far as I could tell) holding books and other material for Martin to sign. I sold a few books at that event, and I’m sure other name authors did better, but Martin was the draw. As the weekend went on, I did managed to say hello to Martin and he was just as kind, but every time I saw him, he was signing books. In the dealer room he sat on a stool and signed stacks of his work for the book vendors, in the halls he was stopped to sign them, and even after his scheduled workshops, and question & answer sessions. He still had a kind word for everyone, but it wasn’t the same as that first time I met him. He was a signing machine and really wasn’t free to roam the convention at his leisure.

I suppose it’s a nice problem to have, right? Going from kindly fan favorite to household name. Going from bestseller to phenomenon. The money has to be nice, right? Fame is good, isn’t it? Demand for your work is great.

Demand is probably the operative word, though. Fans have been angry he isn’t finish for some time now, and this new revelation probably won’t go over well. In the article, Martin apologizes to everyone for the missed deadline.

“You’re disappointed, and you’re not alone. My editors and publishers are disappointed, HBO is disappointed, my agents and foreign publishers and translators are disappointed,” Martin writes, “but no one could possibly be more disappointed than me.”

I can’t imagine having hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of people to apologize to for not being able to get my writing done. Getting criticism for your writing is bad enough, but having fans get pissed about it? Creating is a tough occupation, whether you’re a filmmaker, a comedian, a musician or a writer. The work is very different than most jobs, in that every creative person has a different process. Some can crank out a finished product (for lack of a better word here) with no problem, some need time, some need a muse, some need the pressure, some need space. It’s impossible to say when one person has had enough time to finish something. A month, a week, a decade, whatever.

I’m working on a sequel to my first book, Odd Men Out, and it’s taking a long time. My problem is that I don’t have the time. I’m taking care of the kids, working, promoting, editing. It’s slow going. I’m not George RR Martin, I don’t even own a little hat like his, and I certainly don’t have the demands on my time that he does, but I get it. I don’t want to just write a follow up and be one with it, I want it to be good. I want it be satisfying for both me and the people who enjoyed the first one. So, I plot and I write a bit when I can. It’ll be soon-ish, but like Martin, I can’t say how soon.

Compare Myself to Incredibly Successful Writer Whenever Possible? Hey, there’s one thing I can cross off my new year’s resolution list.