Avoid clichés at all costs. Avoid clichés
like the plague. A cliché is something that some other writer has already written. The only real point of writing or creating anything is to write or create it yourself. Becoming a better creative writer means embracing originality and pushing boundaries. You create to contribute something new.
I’m not talking about copycat ‘creatives’ who only care about commercial success. The pop-star ambition has nothing to do with creativity or real writing. Success and fame are beautiful things when they come as a result of actual achievement and originality. As a result of capitalising on a trend or plagiarising an idea, success and fame are as superficial as the number of ‘friends’ you have on social media. Success built on imitation and cliché is an illusion.
Furthermore, I fail to find joy in using cliché. If you don’t succeed, you’ve failed with somebody else’s words. If you do become a success, you’ve succeeded with somebody else’s words. You see, in both cases, I’d prefer people judge my creativity on my own creative work. I think about one of the famous quotes attributed to Kurt Cobain. I’d rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I’m not. Something like that. He wasn’t the first to have said it, but he certainly popularised the quote and fully embodied it.
The main reason I avoid clichés
One day, we won’t be around anymore. I’m not trying to bring anyone down. I just want to say something that really matters. Perhaps, just before we go, we’ll reflect on our life’s work. We’ll think of other things, too. Love ones. Places we’ve seen. Things we never tried because we were too afraid or embarrassed. It’s the thought of reflecting on my life’s work that keeps me awake at night. I can’t think of anything worse than thinking back on my life, on my deathbed, and wondering if I could have created something truly wonderful if I’d only tried.
And that’s one reason I love originality, treat commercial success with caution, and avoid clichés. You get one shot. Don’t you want to discover who you really are? And wouldn’t it be incredible to be loved for your true self?