Love it. You’re right, understanding how to edit something down to the core idea is a very challenging skill to develop and only comes with practice.
In a lot of ways, it’s an exercise in humility. And that’s something that doesn’t often balance well in minds of creative people. But it’s essential to crafting great experiences. It’s not only about about continually asking yourself if this word, phrase, paragraph or page is necessary, but it’s about being willing to let it go if the answer is no. That’s tough to do.
It’s one of the reason I think writers make great UX people. Understanding how to move someone from one sentence to another and one paragraph to the next, in a way that maintains clarity of thought, are the same skills that can be applied to a registration flow or a product page or a full end-to-end customer experience.
Finally, your post reminded me of what is often referred to as the ‘shortest novel ever written’ – the perfect example of a story distilled to its essence:
“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”