Be Willing to Delete Material

It is important for artists to constantly create new material, but it is also important to be willing to delete material.

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/60368684@N00/3505770009/">djking</a> via <a href="http://compfight.com">Compfight</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>
Photo Credit djking via Compfight cc

This is not just limited to artists in the traditional sense either. If you are an author, speaker, or person of influence within your market, that makes you an artist. You create videos, webinars, blog posts, Periscope episodes, all kinds of material for your audience and what you are really doing is creating art. I am a business owner, but I am also an artist because I create material that helps people grow their businesses in various ways.

What I have found in my experience is that it is really important that you be willing to discard things you have created. For example, over the last 48 hours or so, I have been working on a webinar. I spent about six to eight hours working on the webinar yesterday and really thought it was going to be amazing. But yesterday evening while taking a walk, I came to the realization that the webinar just wasn’t right.

I spent so long working on this project, but then I had this insight and realized it needed to be completely different. This is tough to handle because the material we create is our blood, sweat, and tears, but we need to keep an open mind and consider the fact that the material may be better overall if you remove some of the fluff. Just because we have created something doesn’t mean that everyone has to see it.

With the first book I wrote, I ended up deleting quite a few chapters before its release. My rule of thumb is that every good book needs to have approximately 20% to 30% removed because it just is not necessary. In fact, I remember once hearing the advice, “If you delete 50% of your marketing material, you will be better off.”

Consider whether you are including extra material just to feed your ego. The first version of my webinar had some pieces that did not flow well, but I had originally included them because they were good for my ego. This is the type of filler that needs to be removed in order to create really great and inspiring art.

Try to think of it as just a part of the creation process. Yesterday, I had to go through a bad webinar in order to produce a great webinar. After I delete about 80% of the fluff, I think my webinar is going to be very valuable. Remember, you can always repurpose some of the material you delete. The content I removed in this project was pretty good, but just not suitable for a webinar like this. In the future, I can use some of this content in a video or podcast.

The process I went through in this webinar served as a reminder to me that I do not need to publish everything. Only publish great material and be willing to delete the average stuff. Otherwise, people may get bored with the content you produce, and that would really be a shame.

Photo Credit: djking via Compfight cc

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  • 5 July 2015
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