How to cut your working draft without qualms

Advice for writers: It’s an oft-heard lament that sometimes it’s annoying to cut material from your manuscript. For example, it might be a scene that works well as a stand-alone scene. Or you just might be genuinely unsure, as an artist, whether a certain passage should be in the novel (or short story, whatever). To eliminate your reluctance to make cuts, create an archive file where you save the cut material, with a note on where the stricken material was in the draft. That lets you take an axe to your manuscript without hesitation, because you know you can always re-incorporate the stricken material later if you change your mind. I find that I rarely change my mind, but it really helps to make the cut in the first place.