So, there I was: a desperately seeking Susan searching for a new name for my new business. It was Day 5 of the hunt and I was showing signs of wear and tear. My notebooks were scribbled with hundreds of words paired with the word “essay.” My hair needed a wash. My conversational skills were nil unless it involved pitching names.
To recap from last week, I was about to launch my new editing service for students who need help writing their college admissions essays (plug, plug!). A day before I was set to launch savvyessay.com, I discovered there is an essaysavvy.com, which provides the identical service. And so, I needed to find a new word to pair with “essay,” preferably one that ended in Y so, when fused with “essay,” it would form the word “yes.”
“Make colleges say yes” is my tagline.
Also, it needed to be a domain that wasn’t already taken.
As I said, my brain had started to not only fry, but explode so if you sat closely beside me, you’d hear it emitting these radical pop, pop, pop sounds every so often.
Throughout all five days, I’d leaned heavily on my husband William, my little brother Matthew, and my stepdad Peter for advice.
William, who patiently listened to about 1,000 word combinations, had decided pretty early in the process that I should buy readyessay.com for $800 and be done with it.
Peter was responsive and thoughtful in his critiques, often returning to the conclusion that I should go for essaying.com
Matthew, who is the president of a hugely successful homebuilding company in Edmonton, was using the opportunity to thicken my skin.
“Pithyessay?” I chirped.
“Don’t know what that means,” he said.
Finally, he told me to sit down, really think about the essence of my business, and write down words that convey it. Then he just stopped responding to my texts.
The goal of the business is to get students to stop thinking about the scary concept of the traditional essay, and think instead about writing their own story in a personal, conversational way (plug, plug!).
So, I focused on the idea of a story for the next four hours. I read every quote about writing from famous authors. I researched what kind of favorite pens and writing implements famous authors prefer, hoping to come up with something neat. Then I just started searching for the best stories of all time.
Unfortunately, this resulted in:
And the ultimate loser:
At the end of the day, I had again concluded that I was going to have to settle on something inferior. I put everything to bed and dreamed about the English language getting smaller and smaller in my hands.
The next morning, I came up with:
For the first time, I was pumped. It had the Y, so the “yes” would be preserved. And it meant something, encouraging students to take this opportunity in their college applications to “Have your say.”
I pitched it to the chorus and was surprised when it received lukewarm reviews. Throughout the day, I wrote down the name again and again. It was easy enough to spell, but it was kind of long. Was there something out there that was better?
The next morning, I woke up and began the process again. I reminded myself that the purpose of these essays is to convince or persuade. I looked up both words in the thesaurus, searching for something short. And then, there it was: the word “sway.” The beautiful, perfect, befitting word “sway.”
It was short. It ended in Y. It meant something. And swayessay.com was available. And, thanks be to God, so was essaysway.com.
I pitched it to Matthew and he texted back immediately:
So did Peter. So did my mom. So did William.
And so, swayessay.com was born out of the ashes.
Fast forward a week, and I have my first client. I am learning all about Search Engine Optimization. I am Tweeting like my life depends on it. And I’m about to put together my first blog post.
So, I invite you to visit swayessay.com, follow me @swayessay and check me out on Facebook (plug, plug, plug!). Thanks for listening, dear readers, and, please, spread the word.