The Birth of Robyn Louis

First things first, I Papa…

I’m kidding. The actual “first thing” I want to address is my recent acquisition of a pen name.

Being both an aspiring writer and an aspiring executive assistant requires the management of two identities. I’ve known this for the last few years, which is why I’ve wrestled with keeping my government name and my social media/blog names as separate entities. But what happens when I begin to write professionally? I need to be associated with the SBG brand that I’ve built for the last five years, but if a Google search of my government can lead a potential 9-5 employer straight to my blog and tweets, I could have a problem. I don’t believe my online persona as a whole is damaging, but I know that the deeply personal nature of this blog is tricky business. Do I want potential employers to know about my suicide attempt before they hire me? Not really. My mentor, 9-5er/author Kamryn Adams, confirmed it for me: “If you have a day job, you have to write under a pen name.”

So yesterday, I petitioned the Twittersphere with my dilemma. I needed a third name. One that sounded government-namish, fit my personality, rolls off the tongue easily, and holds special meaning to me.

I played around with a few variations that included my grandmother’s maiden name (Stubbs), my father’s last name (Appling), my favorite athlete’s name (Peyton), and my mother’s middle name (Jeanne), and my middle name. I also looked at several spellings of my first name (Who knew anyone used Robbyne? They should be shot.).

I ended up with three drafts:

The third did what I needed it to do. A tweak on my first name combined with my father’s middle name. It jumped out at me. Rolled easily off my tongue. It didn’t feel like a stranger’s name. Had the same rhythm as my natural name.

It may sound a wee bit confusing. SBG isn’t going anywhere. I’ve just given the brain behind SBG a new name. So ya’ll be nice to Robyn, okay?