Harnessing the Power of Less – in Writing and in Life

January 24, 2011

Perfect_momentThe western world has long been under the influence of the drive for ‘more’. Whether it is money, success, material possessions, power, control, knowledge – or a combination of all of these – we have all been conditioned to associate ‘more’ with ‘better’.

Writers are not exempt. With some notable exceptions, we have been seduced by our motivation to share ideas, insights and stories. Combining this with our love of words and our passion for communication, we have written more words in order to reach our readers more deeply.

Publishers have also bought into ‘more’ in a big way. More words lead to bigger books which have a higher perceived value. Such books carry higher prices leading (potentially) to bigger profits, more books sold and more market share gained.

Yet in ancient Chinese wisdom, everything eventually turns into its opposite. Ultimately, more will become less whether through force of circumstance or through choice.

So as conscious creators, we benefit from learning how to harness the power of less – in writing and in life.

Many countries around the world are currently experiencing the effects of the extreme emphasis on striving for more. Excessive debt is leading to drastic cuts and large numbers of people are being required to live with less.

The upside is that we are encouraged to review our priorities and totally reassess what is truly important.

With writing, cuts usually come from professional editors whose fresh perspective and eagle eyes see exactly where writers have used more words than they need to. And in the publishing world, authors discover many restrictions including cost and the feasibility of creating and marketing books successfully.

So how can we work creatively with this natural law and the implications it has for us all?

Start by letting go of the association that ‘more’ is ‘better’ and embrace the paradox that limitation can free your creativity.

One of the most elegant forms of poetry is the Japanese Haiku which only has a maximum of 17 units of sound.


  • Write in your journal about the positive benefits of writing less and strengthen your belief that less truly can be more.
  • Stop and reflect fully on what ‘more’ really delivers and remember you can choose a different path.
  • Realize that writing less means focusing on crafting each word and ending up by saying more.

What are your thoughts and feelings on this topic? Share your comments below.


© Julia McCutchen 2011. All Rights Reserved.

If you want to use this article in your ezine or on your website I’d be happy for you to do so as long as you use the complete article, including the copyright line, and include the following paragraph in its entirety:

Julia McCutchen is the founder & creative director of the International Association of Conscious & Creative Writers (IACCW). A former managing director & publisher, Julia is an intuitive writer’s coach, mentor and professional publishing consultant. She has over 20 years’ experience of publishing and a track record that includes UK no 1 and international bestsellers. Julia is the author of The Writer’s Journey: From Inspiration to Publication. Visit www.juliamccutchen.com for a range of FREE articles, audios and videos for writers and download a FREE Special Report, Discover Your Authentic Voice – on the page and in the world at www.iaccw.com

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