Author George R.R. Martin made a new blog post on Saturday, revealing he is "back in Westeros" following a brief reprieve for other obligations. The author of A Song of Ice and Fire — the book series that inspired HBO's Game of Thrones — is hard at work on the next installment in quarantine. While he still did not address the controversial remarks he made at WorldCon earlier this month, he did remark on the loneliness and alienation of being a writer.
Martin's latest blog posts offer fans a rare, detailed glimpse of his day-to-day writing process. He describes how he stays efficient with the help of assistants, and how his isolation during the coronavirus pandemic has forced him to be more solitary than ever. He also offered a few hints at which characters and locations he is working on right now for The Winds of Winter. To many fans, it was conspicuous that Martin still did not address the backlash to one of his speeches as the toastmaster at the virtual World Science Fiction Convention earlier this summer.
As the host of the digital ceremony for the 2020 Hugo Awards at WorldCon, Martin came under fire for how vehemently he praised older sci-fi writers with racist legacies. This was seen as especially out of place since the nominees for Best Novel this year were all female, and were more diverse than ever by Hugo standards. Critics said Martin should have celebrated this fact rather than elevating names like H.P. Lovecraft and John W. Campbell.
Still, this backlash was mostly measured, with some fans assuming that Martin may have felt awkward hosting a digital ceremony and spoken out of turn. The author has yet to respond to these criticisms, instead of updating fans on his progress on The Winds of Winter and his writing process on Saturday.
history is framing. history, regardless how factual, is propaganda: what gets elided? what gets lauded?
the choice to mention Campbell dozens of times, and 'Astounding' only when mandated, was not neutral. nor was it subtle.
we see you.— Macey丨Jennifer Mace (@englishmace) August 3, 2020
Martin reflected on how his daily practices have stayed similar even through massive changes. Although he no longer writes at home and no longer writes alone — with assistants bringing food and coffee to him — he noted that solitude is still a vital part of his process. For that, he goes to a cabin he owns in the mountains, where he is staying in isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"My life up here is very boring, it must be said. Truth be told, I hardly can be said to have a life," he wrote. He explained that he is maintaining a steady pace on his new book, often writing from the time he wakes up until sunset. "Then we watch television or screen a movie. The wi-fi sucks up on the mountain, though, so the choices are limited. Some nights I read instead."
Martin observed that the days seem to blend into each other while he is on a streak like this, adding: "it is now August, and I don't know what happened to July." He remembered other works that came out of streaks like this, including short stories and novels.
"My life is at home, on hold, and I am spending the days in Westeros with my pals Mel and Sam and Vic and Ty. And that girl with no name, over there in Braavos," he concluded.
These final lines likely refer to characters Martin is writing about in his new book — presumably, Melisandre, Samwell Tarly, Victarion Greyjoy Tyrion Lannister and Arya Stark. Many fans have speculated that the characters Martin names in his blog posts are those whose perspectives the new book will be written from. It would make sense since all five of those characters were left busy at the end of the last book. Still, Martin has not made a new prediction yet about when The Winds of Winter might be released.