Regarding plot—the twists and turns and episodes of your life—outline as much or as little as you like, but expect surprises. In fact, invite surprise. Each time you begin some next chapter, your composition of yourself will be at risk. But that's okay—that's good—because you will not live fully if you never take side trips and detours. "Writing is like driving at night in the fog," E.L. Doctorow once noted. "You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way."
In prison, they are robbers and murderers. On paper, they are women not so different from the rest of us. Novelist Wally Lamb explains how writing their life stories sets them free, and how anyone who's built a prison around herself can do the same.
Declutter your life! Our March issue features a complete guide to streamlining your life, from Peter Walsh's 30-Day Organization Challenge to innovative ways to clear your mind. Plus, go behind the scenes of Oprah's yard sale and find out how you can improve the world with a simple "hello."