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The author of The Martian offers three critical steps for new writers

matt damon in the martian
20th Century FOX | The Martian
Don’t just daydream about it.
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

This question originally appeared on Quora: This question originally appeared on Quora: What is your advice for new writers trying to make it in today’s publishing world? Answer by Andy Weir, science fiction writer and author of The Martian.

1) You have to actually write. Daydreaming about the book you’re going to write someday isn’t writing. It’s daydreaming. Open your word processor and start writing.

2) Resist the urge to tell friends and family your story. I know it’s hard because you want to talk about it and they’re (sometimes) interested in hearing about it. But it satisfies your need for an audience, which diminishes your motivation to actually write it. Make a rule: The only way for anyone to ever hear about your stories is to read them.

3) This is the best time in history to self-publish. There’s no old-boy network between you and your readers. You can self-publish an ebook to major distributors (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.) without any financial risk on your part.

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