Author George R.R. Martin is one of the most popular and successful authors alive. His book series A Song of Ice and Fire is critically acclaimed and he has worked on some of HBO’s biggest shows. But that hasn’t stopped the author from doubting his own writing ability.
As fans of Martin know, he isn’t the fastest writer. That is something that he knows and considers a flaw. The sixth book in A Song of Ice and Fire has taken over a dozen years to write. Fans are always pestering him about it and he hears all of it.
George R.R. Martin Doubts His Writing Ability When Talking to Stephen King
In a conversation with best-selling author Stephen King in 2016, Martin asked him “How the f— do you write so many books so fast?” Martin also compared his writing speed to the It author. “I think, ‘Oh, I’ve had a really good six months — I’ve written three chapters!’ and you’ve finished three books in that time.”
King replied: “Here’s the thing, There are books, and there are books. The way that I work, I try to get out there, and I try to get six pages a day.” King went on to describe his writing process to Martin. “When I’m working, I work every day, three-four hours, and I try to get those six pages, and I try to get them fairly clean. So if the manuscript is three hundred and sixty pages long, that’s basically two months’ work — but that’s assuming it goes well.”
Martin mentioned his doubts while writing to King. “You don’t ever have a day when you sit down there, and it’s like constipation — you write a sentence and you hate the sentence, and you check your email and you wonder if you had any talent after all and maybe you should have been a plumber? Don’t you have days like that?”
King said that he does not have those issues but life happens. “No, I mean this real life. You know, I can be working away and something comes up and you have to basically get up, you have to go to see the doctor or you have to take somebody’s care package or you have to go to the post office because whatever but mostly I try to get the six pages in although entropy tries to intervene.”
Martin is a talented writer but it is not an easy job. Some writers have it easier but it doesn’t take anything away from Martin’s talent. While he may be a slower writer that doubts he own writing at times, it is impossible to ignore his contributions to the fantasy genre and all the other projects he has worked on.