An incredibly important navel-gazing announcement: Though everyone calls me Lane, I’ve been writing under my full name, Robert Lane Greene, as an homage to my beloved grandfather, since the beginning of my professional life. It just kind of stuck around by inertia. There were lots of other fun reasons: there was a Lane Greene in my hometown of Atlanta, occasionally quoted in the papers on architecture. I liked that "Robert" was recognizably male. And for a three-word name, Robert Lane Greene, at four syllables, is almost as short as you get, with a nice balance.
But from now on, I’m going to publish as plain Lane–that is, "Lane Greene", what actual family and friends have known me as since my parents put me in this awkward situation at birth. No more confusion with Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power and such. (I suspect the confusion steered me more of his sales than the other way around.) No more telling radio presenters "Please introduce me as Robert Lane Greene, but then call me Lane." But most of all, none of the plain weirdness of a split personality, where I am Robert to the wide world, and Lane to a closer circle. My writing can be fairly personal, and even where drily intellectual, it’s always my personal passion that drives it along. Why not use the name I’m called? I couldn’t think of a good reason.
So, love you, Mom! Still miss you, Grandpa! But bye for now, "Robert", which will be confined to pestering from various bureaucracies and vendors addressing me from the coziness of a database. Friends, please call me Lane.