The Art of Subtraction

Here’s what I’m taking into this week.

Less is more.

Often I see people add.

At work, unending steps and processes are added to combat problem areas. In writing, we add words, characters, even whole plot lines that only serve temporary purposes and don’t move the story forward.

Something well placed can add a lot, no matter what you’re working on.

But I’ve found that we frequently add and add and add … until things are so bloated they become unmanageable.

We do this in our work, in our creative efforts and in our lives in general.

It’s been found that when we’re under extra cognitive load or when we aren’t reminded that taking something away can be an option, we’re much more likely to add.

It’s also thought that this could have something to do with maintaining norms as it’s considered less destructive to add something new rather than taking something away.

This is your reminder that subtraction is an option.

This week I’m making it my goal to actively consider the idea of reducing instead of adding.

How often do you find yourself considering taking away things instead of adding them? What in your life could benefit from this idea of less is more?


Photo from the Pexels photo library shows a sunset on a beach with a jar of lights laying in the sand.

2 responses to “The Art of Subtraction”

  1. When I began writing my approach was to write down any and every idea that emerged from my imagination, but as the years went on I discovered the importance of strategic edits and removing unnecessary verbiage. So I think it was time and practice that taught me the importance of subtraction.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely. I was the same. Time and practice have definitely helped me to improve.

      Liked by 1 person

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