Murder your darlings

With the passage of time all of us accumulate a lot of office/household goods which are practically junk. And it is hard to get rid of this junk without conscious effort. I advocate (and rigorously practice) simplicity but sometimes I find it hard to get rid of something which looks and feels wonderful but is practically useless.

This blog post discusses this in a nice way:

My theory is that the things that you own that you’re not using or don’t need aren’t just a waste of money and space: they’re draining you of your energy.  Every time you walk past that cookbook that you never opened, or that model airplane kit that you meant to assemble, or the oscilloscope that you haven’t turned on in a year, a little neural pattern fires that says “Someday I should..” or “I always meant to…” or “God, I really ought to take care of that.”

There’s a saying among writers about the process of copy-editing: murder your darlings.  You may have crafted a beautiful phrase or metaphor in this paragraph, but if it’s not serving the whole piece, it’s got to come out.  You have to murder your darlings.


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