Why should I limit my blog post size to a page? Why should my YouTube video be a specific duration? Most mainstream arguments in favor of constraints are wrong. "You should limit your post to one page because after that, people's attention span starts to dwindle" - wrong.
There are many bloggers who write long-winded articles which people love reading. Anyone who says that YouTube videos should not be more than 15 minutes because people have short attention spans, needs to see a lengthy Joe Rogan podcast or a Andrew Huberman’s podcast.
You never use constraints to help your audience. As an artist you use constraints to help yourself.
A 12-minute TED video is not 12 minutes because the TED audience is not intelligent enough to hold their attention span for more than 12 minutes. That time constraint is not to help the audience. It is to help the speaker. It helps the speaker compress years of insights into 12-minutes, forcing them to leave out the non-essentials, get rid of stuff that doesn't matter and focus on the core idea ensuring that the video is content rich and power packed. As Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the author of The Little Prince, says:
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
If you are sketching, the lack of colors in your art is an opportunity to express your art in shades. If you are writing, a constraint on word count "frees" you to say more with less.
Cooking? A constraint of a vegan, oil less diet is not just to make your dishes healthier. It's to force you think creatively and make dishes tastier.
Working on a project? The constraint of timeboxing is not just for speed. It's for killing procrastination and shipping better quality.
Self-imposed constraints sound limiting for artistic endeavors, but once you embrace them and see them as a creative tool rather than limitations, your art changes. Your outlook changes. Everything changes.
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