George R. R. Martin is an absurdly busy man. I mean, he’s the author of the “A Song of Ice and Fire” book series—A.K.A. the basis of Game of Thrones—so consider his necessary appearances, interviews, and involvement with merchandise when your heart weakens upon the news that the writer recently missed his deadline for the next book.

His aim was to wrap The Winds of Winter, the sixth installment, by the end of 2015 at the very latest in order to make good on an early-2016 publishing. But in a blog post yesterday, Martin gave everyone the sad news.

You wanted an update. Here’s the update. You won’t like it.

THE WINDS OF WINTER is not finished.

Believe me, it gave me no pleasure to type those words. You’re disappointed, and you’re not alone. My editors and publishers are disappointed, HBO is disappointed, my agents and foreign publishers and translators are disappointed… but no one could possibly be more disappointed than me. For months now I have wanted nothing so much as to be able to say, “I have completed and delivered THE WINDS OF WINTER” on or before the last day of 2015.

But the book’s not done.

Unfortunately, the writing did not go as fast or as well as I would have liked. You can blame my travels or my blog posts or the distractions of other projects and the Cocteau and whatever, but maybe all that had an impact… you can blame my age, and maybe that had an impact too…but if truth be told, sometimes the writing goes well and sometimes it doesn’t, and that was true for me even when I was in my 20s.

So the sixth book won’t be published until after—how long after, no one knows—the sixth season of Game of Thrones starts in April, meaning that while “for years [his] readers have been ahead of the viewers. This year, for some things, the reverse will be true.”

Meanwhile, I’ll keep writing. Chapter at a time. Page at a time. Word at a time. That’s all I know how to do.