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Why Knowing What To Leave Out Matters

The secret of any great book, movie, business, product, or service is in the editing. As an entrepreneur or creative, your understanding of what to leave out is just as important as what you decide to leave in.

Christopher Nolan will no doubt leave hours and hours of carefully crafted shots and scenes from
The Dark Knight Rises in the cutting room, and the movie we see will be so much the better for it. It doesn’t matter whether you’re designing an app or a shoe, framing a photo or a company, creating a course or a website, your editing decisions are the key to pulling the whole thing together. Like the perfect final cut, your product and brand story needs just the right combination of carefully selected elements.

The act of editing out is what makes a good story an epic

Taking a metaphorical blue pencil to your ‘thing’ isn’t easy. Sometimes you’re too close to the work to understand what details really matter. And sometimes it’s just too hard to toss hours of creative energy aside.

Take a step back and pretend you’re not you, stand in your audience’s shoes. And above all, don’t wait for the day when the whole thing is perfect to bring it to the world. Even Christopher Nolan makes mistakes and lives to create another day.

Over to you, how do you self edit? How have you made something you’ve created better by taking a step back?

Image by Thomas Milne.

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