lambpic         In a recent profile in O magazine, novelist Wally Lamb talked about teaching autobiographical writing to female prison inmates. Although many of these women have juicy stories to tell, Lamb asks all of us, “Which of us is so self-aware that we could not reveal ourselves more deeply by reflecting on our lives with fingertips on the keyboards?”

         Lamb, whose most famous novel is called She’s Come Undone, has this to say about revision. (Revision is that painful word about what you do to your writing after you crank out a rough draft. It’s really what good writing is all about.)

“Learn to love revision. Listen to suggestions about what you might add, cut, reposition, and clarify in your work-in-progress. Welcome such feedback with gratitude and humility, returning to your words with sharper insight. Make mistakes, lots of them, revising draft after draft of your continuing story. Your errors will be educational, and if your pencil outlives its eraser, then you will know you’re getting it right.”