About four years ago, Andy Weir gave a talk at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on The Martian‘s path to success. As an editor who works with primarily indie authors and authors querying agents, I found it very interesting to hear Weir’s explanation of how he “failed” at publishing when he really, really tried, and then how he found profound success with a book he started out giving away for free. I also, on a personal level, find it really fascinating that his success came only after he let go: when he stopped trying and let things kind of run their own course, pursuing writing because he enjoyed it but without the pressure to “succeed.” Just interesting to ponder as we go about our lives, don’t you think?
Also, I’d like to just add here that I commend the screenwriter for sticking so closely to the book. There are differences, of course, and Weir goes into some of them in the talk, but it is remarkably close. I read the book after seeing the movie, and that often ruins the book for me but in this case it definitely didn’t – it’s the same story, with SO MUCH MORE DETAIL, and it’s fascinating (though not all scientifically accurate!). I just searched back so I could link to my review of the book, but apparently I never wrote a review (oops)…suffice it to says it’s AWESOME. And funny 🙂
Check out this video to hear the story straight from Andy Weir!