What do I as a reader deserve from the author?

If you spend enough time on the internet/social media you have probably come across this scenario.  A writer will post on their blog or social media about something they are doing in their life.  Such author is popular, and usually in the middle of a series of books.  Inevitably some miscreant will respond with a smart ass comment that includes a directive to “Finish the next book!”

Now most reasonable people would never consider doing this, but there are a lot of unreasonable people out there.  So let’s look at what the writer owes you, the reader.

Best story they can write, when it’s ready, and they are ready to release it.

That’s it.  The author doesn’t owe you anything else.  You don’t have stock in them, they aren’t your employee, you don’t have an option on their soul.  I’ve seen folks make all sort of remarks about George R.R. Martin pace and wanted him to finish before he “pulls a Jordan”.  What kind of an asshole do you have to be to make a comment like that?  Martin is working on one of the most complex plotted series in fiction, but even if he was working on a 10 page pamphlet on fly fishing, he doesn’t owe you anything except a quality work when it hits the marketplace.  People make comments about his posts on sports, movies, his time collecting medieval knight miniatures, his cameos in movies and showing up on the red carpet for events.  Again, none of your business.  George was in the trenches a long time making a living and now that his magnum opus has become a big thing, he’s reaping the rewards.  Even if it hadn’t, his time is his own.

I’ve also seen people make similar remarks about Patrick Rothfuss and wanting him to finish the third book in his Kingkiller Chronicle.  They pipe up whenever he mentions work he is doing for Worldbuilders, appearances, lectures, etc.  From all appearances, he is a free willed citizen of the United States, and I can’t find any proof he is obligated to sit chained at a desk working on a novel for his readers.  I’ve just started reading The Name of the Wind, and I hope when a third novel comes out it has the same quality as the first because he finished it at his pace, how he wanted to finish it.  He doesn’t seem like a person to be pushed by angry mobs (nor does Martin), so I am confident it will be. Till the, his time is his own.

So I guess what I’m asking my fellow readers and fans to do is relax and not make asses of yourselves.  If you finish a author and can’t wait for the sequel, find another author to read while waiting.  Imagine if your life had the same expectations.  Going to a wedding, nope we want you to work more hours.  Planning on watching your favorite team this weekend?  Nope, more hours.  You will be allowed no hobbies, no relationships, no outside influences.  We will lock you in a box, or chain you to your desk and you will do one thing and one thing only.

Seems like high expectations doesn’t it?

Me, I prefer my authors to have colorful lives that inspire them and give their work rich details and often include these outside interests (otherwise known as living life).