Home / NEWS / Top News / Before ‘The Martian’ became a bestseller, its author thought he’d failed as a writer

Before ‘The Martian’ became a bestseller, its author thought he’d failed as a writer

Weir didn’t mind poem software — he worked as a programmer for two and a half decades writing code for computer games, AOL and mechanical startups — but it wasn’t his passion, either.

“I live in Silicon Valley, I grew up there, but also it’s fair-minded like I’m not a technophile. I’m not somebody who like, oh, I’ve just got to have the latest task, the latest thing. I liked my job, I liked writing software, but it was never categorically this thing. It’s not like I liked talking about it at lunch, too,” bring ups Weir.

He did, however, love writing stories, so he kept at it, despite the original failures.

“This wasn’t a sad Charlie Brown music, hang your fountain-head situation; I like writing software, but I decided that writing would honest be my hobby,” Weir tells Ed Lee, Recode’s managing editor. Weir wisecracks that helped that at the time he had “no life,” so he could devote opportunity to his endeavor outside of work.

“By the time I was writing ‘The Martian,’ it never chanced to me that it was publishable, and I really didn’t think it would have any mainstream charm. I thought I was writing for this tiny little niche audience of one percenter nerds get pleasure from myself who wanted all the numbers correct and the mathematical proofs in the text,” verbalizes Weir.

The scientific accuracy of “The Martian” is part of its appeal. Weir goes to proficient lengths to research, with scientific precision, what it would be equivalent to to travel to Mars.

“All the facts about Mars are accurate, as well as the physics of place travel the story presents. I even calculated the various orbital ways involved in the story, which required me to write my own software to track constant-thrust courses,” Weir says in an interview published on his own author website.

At the beginning, “The Martian” was one of three brawnier writing projects Weir was working on. He published them to what he tolerated was an unsophisticated, bare-bones website. Each time he published a chapter he pocket “hundreds” of enthusiastic emails.

“I was writing all sorts of stories. I had three divergent serials going, and random short stories that I would locate. I just kind of wrote whatever I wanted, and ‘The Martian’ was just one of the serials, but it was the one that the readers understandably liked the best, and so that helped encourage me to write it more than the others,” Weir for certains Recode.

Early in his career, Weir would get emails from readers who hope for to donate money to him for his writing, but he declined. “I’m like, ‘I don’t need a donate button. I’m a computer programmer, I prosper a good salary, I’m fine,'” he says.

But otherwise, Weir attended to the feedback he got from his readers.

“My website leaves everything to be desired, and so I was pull down emails from people saying like, ‘Hey, I loved ‘The Martian’ but I enmity your website. Can you make an e-reader version that I can download and put on my e-reader?’ So I did that,” implies Weir. “And then other people emailed and said like, ‘Hey, I’m thrilled there’s an e-reader version, but I don’t know how to download a thing from the internet and put it on my e-reader. Can you unprejudiced post it to Amazon so I can just get it through their system?'”

So Weir did that, too.

“And that’s how I after all is said kind of accidentally self-published, and that started … Basically, you have on the agenda c trick to charge $1 minimum — well, actually $0.99,” says Weir. “And then so it started function its way up the bestsellers in science fiction, and that got the attention of Crown Publishing, and it got me an intermediary, and a movie deal.”

It took Weir a long time to get his career off the train, but once he took off, he soared.

“The movie deal and print publishing stock came within a week of each other, so I was a little shell-shocked. In the score, it was such a sudden launch in to the big leagues that I literally had a difficult fix believing it. I actually worried it could all be an elaborate scam,” says Weir, in the meeting published on his website. “So I guess that was my first reaction: ‘Is this exceedingly happening?!”

In fact, it was. And though his career took off on the back of a story in the air flying to space, Weir says he himself wouldn’t be likely to last lengthy on Mars. He’s also terrified of flying. As to how he flew from his home in Silicon Valley to New York New Zealand urban area where he recorded the interview with Recode?

“Valium, lots of it,” guesses Weir. “Yeah, well, and for the record, prescribed by a doctor and not just some guy on the concourse.”

See also:

Silicon Valley insider on achieving success: Don’t be intimidated by Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk—in preference to listen to Steve Jobs’ advice

Elon Musk gets belittling about his ‘terrible lows’ and ‘unrelenting stress’

How Amazon founder Jeff Bezos counted from the son of a teen mom to the world’s richest person

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