Do you ever feel limited by the commitment you've made with the massive writing of the Cosmere, or is there enough variety within the Cosmere to keep you happy and feel like you have some flexibility to do what you want to do with your writing ideas and preferences, especially as they change.
The answer is no. Fortunately, I designed the Cosmere as the thing I wanted to do, and I had essentially been writing the Cosmere for like, eight books before I sold. So I knew pretty well that I would have enough flexibility and things like this.
I am very excited by large-scale continuity connections between stories - watching eras come and pass in epic story-lines and things like that. I've never felt constrained by it. If anything, once in a while I feel constrained by contracts coming at the wrong time when I'm super excited by something else - like when a deadline is coming due and I'm like "I need to get off of this and write this other thing".And that's just a matter of - it's a function of the popularity that we enjoy that I've talked about before. I think that if I were - I'm not going to go back to this, but when I were a little less popular, the publishers would sit on books for like, two and a half years after I turned them in, to find the right place to publish them, or the right time. The bottom-line of the entire company was not appreciably affected by my book releasing.
Nowadays, the bottom-lines of companies are appreciably affected by my books releasing, so they don't sit on them. You don't turn in a Stormlight book and have it come out two and a half years later. Fans would probably have a heart attack if they knew we were doing that. But what it meant was that this buffer that I had vanished unexpectedly out from underneath us and so suddenly everything I'm writing is at the last moment that it could get - the last possible moment for it to be turned in, to be published, is generally when it's getting turned in. And this is just because people are really excited to get the books out. What that means is that things will happen where it's like, in an ideal world I don't think I would have gone straight from Rhythm of War into Dawnshard. It turned out to be okay because I was writing different characters, but I really like space between books in the same series as a way to refresh myself, and ideally I would have written the next Skyward book and maybe the next Wax and Wayne book and then done Dawnshard and then written the next Skyward book, and then come back to Stormlight.
But that just wasn't possible because of the timelines that I've set out. Dawnshard really needs to be out before Rhythm of War comes out, and because of that tight deadline then I'm on another tight deadline, which now means that writing the next Skyward book has to happen next because my YA publisher has been waiting very patiently without a book for quite a while, and while I probably would want to go to Wax and Wayne 4 next because I've been away from that even longer, Wax and Wayne 4 is for the same publisher that's now publishing Rhythm of War and they've got plenty to do and are plenty busy, and I need to get something to the other publisher.
These sorts of things are the annoyances of the reality of being a professional writer, but I never feel constrained by the Cosmere. I've never felt constrained by "Oh I promised ten Mistborn books or whatever" (30 seconds of figuring out how many Mistborn books. 13?)
So do I feel constrained by that? No I feel excited by that. That's never been an issue. Do I feel constrained by the fact that I really need to get Skyward 3 and 4 and Wax and Wayne done in time to get back to Stormlight 5 to have Stormlight 5 come out on a reasonable timescale - that, I do feel constrained by.