… Why I Chose the Title, The Reason Why

For those that have pursued any creative outlet — music, art, writing, etc. — know that coming up with what to call our masterpieces, stories, creations and designs can happen anytime during the creation process. It can become finalized after hours of brainstorming sessions or instantaneously in a waking thought. You could know the name of your song before you write the chorus or a single verse. You could paint an entire portrait before it has an official title that will reside alongside it in a museum for all to see. Your book could have a working title until the moment before you submit to publishing or perhaps have a title for a book but never get the chance to tell their story.

And it’s okay for it to change as well. Multiple times even.

For both of my novels, the titles came to me relatively early in the writing process (in the first draft phase of my manuscript) and stuck ever since, while on the other hand, the chapter titles took way longer (not until the third and final drafts before I knew what they were). I’ve learned that a title simply needs to invoke curiosity in those fascinated with the art itself — keep the attention of the audience hooked by letting their mind wondering and seeing all the different angles, perspectives, and meanings behind a few words... an idea… a moment. It might take many times listening to a song, revisiting a sculpture or reading the first half of the book to really comprehend why you think that artist chose that title. In some instances, you may never know — only mere guesses, theories, or mysteries.

Without revealing any spoilers, I’ll give you the opportunity to learn how I ended up selecting the title of my debut fiction novel, The Reason Why.

The Reason Why Paperback (Photo Credit to Nicole Spindler)

The reason why is a common phase we hear on the regular when people try to provide an explanation for something, to prove their case, to show their side of the story.

… The reason why the sky is blue.

… The reason why I was late to work today.

… The reason why should go with Plan B rather than A or C.

… The reason why I decided to become a vegan.

… The reason why our planet’s temperatures are rising.

… The reason why I love you.

Third simple words that lead to a plethora of “what ifs,” chances, and thoughts that we probably say or come across more times in a day than we realize. The reasons could be direct correlations and core-hard facts or uniquely associated to that person’s intricate workings in their mind, motives, past experiences, intentions, and soul. The recipient of this explanation can choose to either accept it as the whole truth or deny it, changing their entire perception of you, evolving their own thoughts, and or shifting their mindset or lifestyle choices. This could ultimately lead you up on a progressive path forward or down a rabbit-hole spiral. You could ultimately spend many sleepless nights, weeks, months and years on end trying to unveil a clear-cut answer to all of life’s questions — more times than not, we may not get an answer or truly know why.

And that’s the reason why I personally believe that asking “why” is the most fascinating yet challenging and partially dangerous question we could ever ask.

Early on in my novel, readers will learn that our lead character, Emma Cantor, has wrestled with wondering why she struggled to find a guy interested in her during her adolescence. Rather than approach these high school guys and ask them straight up why they don’t ask her on a date or to a dance, she jumps to the conclusions that she’s “not like the other girls” that seem to get all the guys, believing that something is wrong with her, and she needs to change something about her self, her life to conform to the status quo that consumed her waking hours in the halls of high school. She thought she needed to start wearing different clothes, let her grades slip and quit sports so she could be like “most girls.”

Thankfully, with a strong female presence in her family and reassurance from a few close friends, she steers away from falling down this rabbit hole but encounters it again later in the story: with her first boyfriend in college, meeting her best friend Alan during one summer, and during her dating experiences amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Through these experiences, Emma learned early on while she ultimately wants to be comfortable in her own skin and believes that’s the best state of being, conforming to the status quo and following the trends of what everyone else seemed to be the only way to that others’ have found “success”. She strongly believed the misses she had in her early dating experiences were all her fault like when:

Her first boyfriend wanted her to become a permanent stay-at-mom, disregarding her personal passions and career ambitions.

One of her first times back dating, a guy just wanted to stay friends because he knew she could find someone else way better than him but wouldn’t tell her why.

One guy she went out with on several dates didn’t believe being upfront and honest was a vital part of being in a relationship.

Another guy initially shrugged off asking Emma to have sex after the second date but then completely dissed her because of the personal choice she made for herself that she was comfortable with.

As Emma put herself out to meet new people and date, questions became plaguing her mind that have probably invaded our very own as the line blurred between what was the truth and what wasn’t real.

“What’s wrong with me?”

“What do I need to change about me so a guy will be interested?”

“Why do I feel pressured?”

She needed to shift her mindset to loving all that makes Emma herself without changing anything about her to fit the unrealistic, fake and nonexistent perfect mode of a girlfriend. It had to start and come from her too, but thankfully she had a few important and unlikely individuals in her life that proved this to her, that made her finally realize that the reason why… after all this time… was because of her… started with her… being the real Emma Cantor. She didn’t give herself the freedom or acceptance to be her true, genuine self and love all that makes her Emma!

At one point or at multiple intersections in our lives, we’ve all probably have been in Emma’s shoes, wondering if we need to show up as we are or put on a “mask or appearance” for show to please others. But we need to show up as our authentic selves— who we are with all our quicks, qualities, and everything in between.

The moment someone chooses to be themselves without doubting and questioning who they really are, love in all forms became an open door in our own hearts, friendships, relationships and life. Being yourself is the reason why you need to be here… because in the wise words of Pittsburgh-native Fred Rogers, you are special! There’s no one else like you!

Join Emma on her journey towards self acceptance and self-love in the new release, “The Reason Why,” which is out now and available where most books are sold. Check out it today and dive into your beyond!

Here is the link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09ZPWQFLX



An eye-opening, reflective series from 2x published author Nicole Spindler as she divulges the reasons why she made specific decisions when writing her second novel, “The Reason Why” — a coming-of-age novel about cultivating love for your authentic journey (out now).

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