Once in Nevada he became a miner, hoping to strike it rich digging up silver in the Comstock Lode and staying for long periods in camp with his fellow prospectors--another mode of living that he later put to literary use.
Failing as a miner, he fell into newspaper work in Virginia City for the Territorial Enterprise, where he adopted the pen name "Mark Twain" for the first time.
This paper examines the literary works of Mark Twain.
But it is often thought that the name actually came from his wilder days in the West, where he would buy two drinks and tell the bartender to "mark twain" on his tab. In addition to Mark Twain, Clemens used the pseudonym "Sieur Louis de Conte".
Sold by subscription, the book became hugely popular and put its author in a spotlight he never willingly relinquished for the rest of his life.
After the success of Innocents Abroad he married Olivia Langdon in 1870 and moved to Buffalo, New York, then to Hartford, Connecticut.
Twain himself wrote: The old gentleman [Captain Isaiah Sellers] was not of literary turn or capacity, but he used to jot down brief paragraphs of plain practical information about the river, and sign them "MARK TWAIN," and give them to the "New Orleans Picayune." They related to the stage and condition of the river, and were accurate and valuable; and thus far, they contained no poison.
[...] I burlesqued it broadly, very broadly, stringing my fantastics out to the extent of eight hundred or a thousand words. I showed my performance to some pilots, and they eagerly rushed it into print in the "New Orleans True Delta." It was a great pity; for it did nobody any worthy service, and it sent a pang deep into a good man's heart.