Thursday Tips: Digging Deep

As non-fiction is selling better than fiction, digging deep into one’s soul and finding our most moving stories may be the best place to start writing.

People like to read real stories more than fiction.

On the surface, we may have some great stories that we want to tell, but as we look into ourselves. However, we may find some inner traumas or difficult moments that we may have trouble revealing to ourselves and others.

Writing can be a form of psychotherapy. A catharsis of words may erupt from one’s pen or keyboard.

Here are some pointers when exorcising one’s inner demons for the pen:

1. Beware of the sorrow this may evoke. I was caught off guard when I slept for 10 to 11 hours a night for two nights in a row after I uncovered the impact of some events of my childhood. I didn’t sleep so much because I was exhausted. I slept because I was in shock. If you know that you are going over rocky ground in your past, make sure to write during the weekend or when you don’t have to go to work the following day. You want to make sure that you are in a comfortable space and won’t be shell-shocked when reporting for work.

2. If you can’t remember details, ask several of your friends or relatives about what they remember from this event in your past. Though the observations of outsiders may not coincide with your memories, at least their comments may strike a chord with you and you may remember something.

3. Close your eyes and recreate the scenes in your head. How did you feel? What were you wearing? What were the smells around you? What were you eating? How did it taste? What was the lighting like? Think of all the sensations you had during the event. When you evoke the past in your senses, the scenes will become much more visceral and real to you and easier to document.

Going down memory lane can be a dramatic experience. Be prepared.


Welcome to Between Lines. This is the official blog for where every week, Susanna Zaraysky will be sharing tips and also featuring outstanding authors and their work from BookRix.

Susanna Zaraysky is a world traveler and polyglot whose goal is to empower people to be global citizens who are knowledgeable about world events and are confident international travelers and communicators. In June 2009, she will publish two books, Travel Happy, Budget Low (a guidebook on how to travel the world on a budget), and Language is Music(about how to learn foreign languages using music, TV, radio, film and other free and low-cost resources). Her website is:

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