Welcome to the Writing Up blog

I'm a professional writer. You can call me Cyrano. It's not my real name.

Until recently, writing was hard for me, which was a source of stress because writing is my job. Imagine a plumber who hates tightening nuts, or a truck driver who hates driving. Laying words together was satisfying. But it was also painful.

I became fascinated with how other writers work. I thought if I could learn their process, writing would magically become easier for me.

I don't think that worked. But writing became easier for me anyway, maybe just because I did a lot of it.

Still, my fascination with other writers' process continues. Most writers work on a desktop computer using Microsoft Word. But I love finding out about writers who deviate from that path, the ones who write by hand, or on typewriters, who work at standing desks or dictate their stories into speech recognition software.

And that's what this blog is about: The process of writing. We'll talk with writers about the physical act of writing, and other parts of the process: Where they find inspiration, how they do research, and anything else that looks interesting,

When you think about writers, you probably think about people who write books. But there are lots of different kinds of writers: Journalists, bloggers, marketing writers, screenwriters, ad copywriters, technical writers, even software developers (code is writing), and more. Someone who is dedicated to Twitter is a writer. Writers write. That is the only criterion.

We'll also talk about the usual stuff of blogs where writers are interviewed. We'll talk about their books, or blogs, or tweets, or other work product.

We won't talk about career advice, how to get started getting published, how to find an agent, or story construction. There are plenty of places you can get advice on that; advising amateur writers on how to become pros is a dubious industry.

And you won't find discussion here of how writing nourishes the soul. I've been a professional writer and editor for more than 25 years. I roll my eyes at talk like that. It's my job, and like any job sometimes I don't want to get up out of a cozy bed in the morning to do it. But I do it anyway. Because it's my job.

And it does nourish the soul – but it works better if you don't talk about it much.

I'll update the blog when I want to. If you want to keep up, the best ways are to subscribe to the RSS feed, subscribe by email using the “Follow” button to the right, or follow us on Twitter at @writingupblog.

I'm using a pseudonym because I'm starting this project at a time when I shouldn't. Eventually, I will come clean with my real name – unless I'm so entertained by using a pseudonym that I just keep going with it.

I expect it would be relatively easy to out my real identity. So please don't do it, okay?

Why “Cyrano?” The name tickles me. It's the first name of the poet Cyrano de Bergerac, whose writing process involved quite a lot of swordfighting. I like the play, and Steve Martin movie, and the Philip Jose Farmer novels where Cyrano appears as a fictional character. Other, rejected ideas for pseudonyms were Thoth and Hermes, the Egyptian and Greek gods of writing. I was afraid Thoth would make people say “Huh?” Hermes would have made people think I was selling women's handbags. I also thought about going with"Hank,“ which is a good name, but it has nothing to do with writing, and is also the name of a friend's dog, which would be weird.

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