I’ll be blogging more this evening—possibly about ancient mosques or dating in China (two highly divergent topics, to be sure)—but in the meantime, here’s a fantastic bit from Neil Gaiman about entitlement issues, readers, and authors, which I think should probably be called: George R.R. Martin is not your bitch.
Or, as Mr. Gaiman goes on to say:
“This is a useful thing to know, perhaps a useful thing to point out when you find yourself thinking that possibly George is, indeed, your bitch, and should be out there typing what you want to read right now.
People are not machines. Writers and artists aren’t machines.”
I’ve spent the past year, at times, feeling a bit like a machine. Always on deadline, always struggling to catch up. Trying not to stress out, knowing that writing should not be painful, and that—wonder of all wonders, it should feel like the privilege that it is. And it did feel like a privilege for most of the time, but when it did not—when it became more than just work, and all-consuming (because as a writer, it’s difficult to step away, and take a breather)—I questioned what I was doing with my life, even though I did not want to stop.
I’m finally, though—for the most part—caught up, and have been reminded over the past six weeks that I am about 100% more productive when I’m relaxed and having a good time. You would think that I would remember that, but alas, when deadlines roar, I tend to forget the basics. I forget a lot of things, including my sense of humor. But not anymore. I’ve been reading, sight-seeing, enjoying nice long dinners with family and friends—and putting in decent hours of work while I’m at it. Deadlines must be met, because this is a business and a great job, but I have a remarkable life, a beautiful life, and every day I’m happy to wake up. And I’m going to enjoy it all. The books will be better for it.