George R. R. Martin and crippling self-doubt.
I have yet to read any of the great books by George R. R. Martin. Nor any of the shitty ones, apparently. I have read a ton of reviews for A Dance With Dragons, his fifth book. The book mostly interested me because it shows up in science fiction, my domain. But it clearly isn’t sci-fi. It’s fantasy. It’s full of, well, dragons I would imagine.
I think the publisher pulled it out of the fantasy categories so it would be more difficult for readers of that genre to find and review it. Dance with Dragons, you see, is getting RIPPED by Martin’s own fans. The 1-star and 2-star reviews make for some gripping reading (really, go read some). They are long and full of heartbreak. As an author, it’s powerful drama. Here’s a man who was at the height of his game before losing his way. A man who became so distracted by his popularity that he forgot to devote time to his writing (a five-year delay for a book is telling).
Now, I’m no Martin. I’m not even in the upper tier of indie-writer-success. Which makes my fear of failure and plague of self-doubts all the more nauseatingly difficult to stomach.
When the next series comes out, I might not even tell anyone. I’ll hide it among the fantasy books, where A Dance with Dragons belongs and hope it languishes there. No one can hate it if they never read it, right?