I was attending a panel discussion about poetry when someone mentioned how research is a great way to accumulate ideas, facts, and anecdotes, and how during the process of writing a poem, you learn to strip out the unnecessary details and keep only what makes your piece worth reading.
That got me thinking. Planning for a story, a poem, or a novel is all about collecting random information in one place. It’s essential prep work. And only when you have that massive pile of overwhelming information can you condense it and identify key elements that add value to your work.
Unless we go through that rigorous cutting of the bulk in our work, the piece itself will sag under the weight of too much information. What we once deemed good becomes its downfall.
Life is like that too.
We all spend so much time and money acquiring things—books, furniture, clothes, jewellery, bags, shoes, and so much more that take up and over our lives. We don’t realise these things are baggages that can hold us back.
Just as in writing, the solution is to get rid of what we don’t need.
To live minimally, so we reduce our impact on our surroundings, and be aware of ourselves. Makes for a quick getaway too. To do all that, we need to get rid of the possessions we so lovingly accumulate. It isn’t easy, and to paraphrase Faulkner, it’s like killing your darlings. But if we want the result to be worthy at all, it has to be done.