“The first man who compared woman to a rose was a poet, the second, an imbecile.” -Gerard de Nerval
Even though cliches, by definition, are so overused that they’ve lost their original effect, they still can contain good life advice. There’s a reason something sticks around as long as it does. We’d be foolish not to at least consider cliches for our daily living.
All that glitters isn’t gold.
Every cloud has a silver lining.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
When we’re making our art however (especially writing), realize that we tend to think in cliches. That’s often our first thought. Our first point of reference.
Nothing wrong with that. We need to get down what’s in our head first. (See: “Vomit Draft“)
But then we need to go deeper. Push the envelope. Figure out what we’re really trying to say.
That takes work. A lot more work. But it’s worth it. Especially if you want to make a lasting impact.
And who knows?…maybe you’ll start a brand new cliche.
P.S. – Bonus points for anyone who can catch the Tom Wolfe, first-inspired cliche in my post.