Jonathan Franzen; Pain Won’t Kill You

There may be a superficial similarity between revising a piece of fiction and revising your web page or your Facebook profile; bug a page of prose doesn’t have those slick graphics to help bolster your self-image. If you’re moved to try to return the gift that other people’s fiction represents for you, you eventually can’t ignore what’s fraudulent or secondhand in your own pages. These pages are a mirror, too, and if you really love fiction you’ll find that the only pages worth keeping are the ones that reflect you as you really are.