To memoir or not to memoir, that is the question – by Nina Joy

5 Aug , 2015  

To memoir or not to memoir, that is the question

Each of us is a book waiting to be written, and that book, if written, results in a person explained. ~Thomas M. Cirignano

I have always adored books. Within minutes, I could be transported to another world and another time.   As a child, I used to lose myself in the plot.  I was Anne Frank.  I rode Black Beauty.  I drank lashings of ginger beer with the Famous Five.  And I went through the wardrobe into the white frozen world of Narnia.  I even loved the satisfying weight of a hardback book in my hands, and the feel and smell of the pages.  (Raising my hand)………..My name’s Nina, and I am a bookaholic.

It may not surprise you to know that it was always my ambition that I would one day write a book of my own, and see my name on the spine, and the book in a library or bookshop. One day.

I was convinced I had a book in me.  I just didn’t know what the book would be about.  Detail.  Pah.

And then One Day arrived.

It wasn’t obvious initially that my Very-Own-Book One Day had arrived.

It started in 2012 with my diagnosis of incurable breast cancer, and the prognosis that I had maybe 3 to 6 months to live.   I didn’t head off there and then to write my book – I had one or two other things to sort out as you can imagine.

First of all I had to get my head around this life changing/life-limiting piece of information and decide what I was going to do about it.  Writing my innermost thoughts in a journal helped me to do that.  I soon learned that cancer wasn’t just happening to me, it impacts on everyone around you too.  They all want to know how you feel, what the doctor says when the treatment will start…….

I didn’t want to spend my life replaying this update time after time, so what to do?  Being very much a 21st-century sort of a gal, the answer seemed obvious. Do a blog.  One source that everyone could access, and I didn’t have to talk about all that stuff if I didn’t feel like it.  So the blog was born.  Writing it was therapeutic.  Fun even!  I posted whenever I had something to say – which was often.  Each time, it captured what was going on at that moment.  Not from memory, but actually what was happening and how I felt as it all unfolded.

My audience grew and the compliments came thick and fast.  Closely followed by the question “why don’t you turn this into a book telling your whole story”.  Ooh alright then, if you insist.

I had intended writing a book One Day, it looked as though One Day had arrived.

Once I committed to writing my book, me and my laptop got into a writing frenzy.  I was totally and utterly immersed.

As my story unfolded, whenever I was describing a significant milestone in my Adventure, I was able to include a blog post or three to perfectly illustrate what was happening in the moment and how I felt about it.  All without having to tax my memory.  This meant my daily word count was incredibly high, it made my book easier and enjoyable to write.  Not only that, it made it all the more authentic and true to life.   Within a matter of weeks, the first draft was completed.

I had written my book!  Obviously there is more work to be done before going to print.  I wanted to make sure that my book (AKA my baby) looked its best, so I had professional help with proofreading, editing, type-setting and the book cover.  I can highly recommend that you do the same.

The moment I held the first copy of my printed book in my hand was magical – to a bookaholic like me.  An ambition realised.  A bit like an amateur footballer running out on the turf at Wembley.   I opened it and read the Dedication.  “This book is dedicated to my mum, Margaret Morton.  Although she is no longer with us, her spirit, courage and sheer zest for life continue to inspire me.”

I know I had written those words, yet seeing them in print and imagining how proud my mum would have been of me made me quite emotional.  I think I even had something in my eye.

More memorable moments were to come, though.  Like being asked to sign a book.  Seeing my book and my name on the global bookshop in the sky,  Amazon.  Getting 5-star reviews!  Being described as an author!  Saying “I am just going to see my publisher”.  For bookaholic-me, this is the equivalent of winning an Oscar.  I am so glad I have experienced these things.

If you think there is a book inside you, why not let it out, and experience all this for yourself?  Your One Day could be now?




Nina Joy has written two highly successful books and created a beautiful Journal to accompany the series –


1. The Adventures of a Cancer Maverick (memoir of her journey thriving and surviving with a terminal cancer diagnosis)


2. How to Be a Cancer Maverick (how to book on how she has managed to defy her prognosis years after she had been told she had months to live)

3. Thoughts, Hopes & Daydreams – Generic hard-backed Journal for you to write your own notes and to become inspired in whatever goals you want to achieve.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER the books and CLICK HERE to order the Journal

By  -      
The team at OTWT are committed to helping authors to grow their following and to sell more books. OTWT is the blog site for The aim is for all authors (particularly those who self-publish), no matter how successful, to have the same access to the book-buying public as those signed to the larger publishing houses. If you have a blog post about you as an author, your book or anything topical, please contact us.

Comments are closed.