Writers shouldn’t be afraid of clichés

Sofia Sanchez/Contributing Writer

This notion that everything must have a new angle and fresh outlook is nothing short of draining and leaves writers tuckered out.

When did using simple, comprehendible and relatable language become a sin in the world or writing?

Language originated a short 1.8 million years ago, which means there is a high likelihood everything I have ever wanted – or will ever want – to say has already been said numerous times already.

I am constantly encouraged to push the boundaries, be innovative, use my creativity, transcend time and move people with my words, but what does that even mean?

How is that possible when the words I would so naturally reach for are received with a shake of the head? Every thought I have has already been pondered, and every phrase I jot down has practically been beaten down into oblivion, but I want to say them.

Words have meaning, words have power and simply because they are common doesn’t mean I must overwork and exhaust myself trying to find an out-of-this-world explanation for the same end result.

I can use the same words as anyone else but arrange them so that the outcome will be original and fresh according to my own unique experiences. In zealously seeking that correct formula of words that will make readers sing, writers lose sight of the true meaning of their work.

Their poems, essays and blogs become littered with awkward words they didn’t know the meaning of until they “right-click-synonymed.” This lessens the authenticity of their work and their intrinsic outlook.

In trying so desperately to capture the attention of professors and astound readers with their all-around hefty vocabulary and metaphorical imagery, a writer’s voice is lost in translation. Sometimes – and dearest English Department, brace yourselves – a cliché just feels right.

It’s time for writers to snatch back the power of their own words; for them to simply say what they want to, and for everyone else who scoffs at the sight of familiar phrases to turn the other cheek and give these writers the benefit of the doubt.

What they have to say is more important than burning the midnight oil in search of a phrase that will dazzle readers. It’s time for writers to take back their beloved words, their splendid comma splices and their endless idioms off the chopping block.

It’s this exhausting little rule that hinders people with true potential from speaking their minds. Stop losing sleep over enforcing such strict and trivial technicalities, and realize that some things are better said simply.

It’s about high time writers ignored what everyone else demands from them and wrote what resonates with them. In my experience, true poignancy is most often found hiding in the gray area where rules do not exist and where freedom is allowed to carelessly romp where it wants.



The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of FIU Student Media Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.


Image retrieved from Flickr.

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