The Importance of the Delete Button

A carver whittles away at a piece of wood. By deleting that which is not worthy, a masterpiece is revealed.

How do I spell relief: D-E-L-E-T-E

Honestly, I get such satisfaction when I delete something. It’s usually something I’ve stewed over, something I’ve written and rewritten, and quite frankly, I’ve spent way too much time on it. Finally the light bulb goes on in my head: delete it.

When to delete:

  • When you are reading your own writing and you are bored.
  • When you are writing and you are bored.
  • When you write and rewrite and it still doesn’t sound right.

But I love that section of the book (or paragraph, or sentence, or chapter):

Doesn’t matter. If it doesn’t flow, it doesn’t go. Instead of deleting it, copy and paste it – save it away for another day.

Was hitting the delete button the right thing to do?

  • Yes it was: You feel the weight melt off your shoulders and you think finally, I can move on.

No, it wasn’t: You break into a cold sweat and an all out raging scream goes off in your head (anything less deserves to be deleted). And then you thank the Computer Gods for the Undo button.


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