Martin has previously written about his work on ASOIAF on his LiveJournal blog, albeit less frequently than he used to, and he’s made it clear that once he finishes The Winds of Winter he’ll announce it on the blog. Nowadays he mostly uses his blog to write about football, the Hugo Awards, Game of Thrones awards, his non-ASOIAF projects, and screenings at his movie theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico. But he sometimes uses the comments section of blog to interact with fans, and occasionally he even responds to a question about The Winds of Winter and his progress.
That happened once again Tuesday as Martin, a Giants and Jets fan, wrote about the end of his team’s football season and the Golden Globes. One fan, however, asked Martin about his progress because “it has been a whole year since we have received an updated.” [sic]
This time Martin divulged in the question, although he doubted that it would really make a difference.
You really think statements like that would make a difference? Ah, you sweet summer child. I have years of experience with this that tells me otherwise.
But okay, I will try it your way.
Not done yet, but I’ve made progress. But not as much as I hoped a year ago, when I thought to be done by now.
I think it will be out this year. (But hey, I thought the same thing last year).
Martin has mostly kept mum since his blog post at the beginning of January 2016 announcing that he wouldn’t be able to publish The Winds of Winter before Game of Thrones’ sixth season debuted. He released a new chapter featuring Arianne Martell (which he’s read at conventions) in May and later read a new chapter from Aeron Greyjoy at a convention, leaving a lot for book fans to analyze. And he states that he’s made progress, which is always a good sign.
But even as he gave up an update on The Winds of Winter, he may have set fans up for disappointment; at one point he thought he could finished the book by 2016, but that didn’t pan out. If he doesn’t finish the book this year, we’ll likely hear him give a similar update in 2018.