Saying No A Lot

Last night I got home at 9:15 and after talking to my parents for twenty minutes I had less than an hour before I wanted to be in bed.

I also had eleven things left to check off on my habit tracker.

The odds, as they say, were not in my favor.

I had to do a quick triage, deciding which habits I think are pretty well-formed and which could be skipped for a night, which ones my mind and body didn’t need as much as others, and which could be done at alternative times. Essentially I was removing everything but the essentials- not bad things, just things that weren’t good ENOUGH to make the cut in that moment.

This is how we revise a book. We’re not necessarily removing BAD things (hopefully you did that the first round or two because if you’re like me you’re probably on round eleventeen). We’re removing good, even GREAT things, that just don’t belong. Seeking the essential and giving up the rest.

Sometimes the simplest and most peaceful (not easiest. Just simplest.) path to a lean, rich, page-turning draft is to say no to good so you can say yes only to the best.


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