In the 33rd email form 50 days of writing, David Perell informs loud and clear to avoid cliché ideas.
The reason David states to avoid clichés is
Clichés are ideas without surprise, where readers can predict what the author’s going to say just by looking at the title. But insightful ideas are always jarring. By comforting the confused and confusing the comforted, they shock the reader out of an intellectual slumber. So next time you sit down at your computer, avoid clichéd ideas by zooming into a topic or adding a twist to a familiar subject.
He says in order to escape clichés, you need to write about and look for things that most people aren't looking for. He then explains to show how to avoid clichés with an example of Starbucks.
Rather than writing about how Starbucks is a dominant coffee chain, focus on under-explored topics like how customers provide them with free debt or why they incentivize customers to purchase simpler drinks in the morning and complicated ones in the afternoon.
He advises to write about insightful ideas rather than clichés. Even If we choose to write about a cliché idea, David says write from a different angle or combine different ideas along with the cliché to stand out.
I have written about the pandemic situation and how we are tackling few internal battles amidst the whole lockdown when I started publishing online. Recollecting the highlight points I have talked in the posts are all the cliché topics.
What I mean is all the topics were either being talked about or already spoken, only a few questions I raised were original and few of my friends mentioned saying the questions you mentioned are similar to what I was feeling.
I never understood why those questions got the response and not the rest of the article. That is because the questions were forcing people to bring in a different view point to think about it.
That was a one and a half year ago. Now, I feel I have the conscience of what are the cliché ideas and how do I write differently. and I have tested two different types of articles - One about how to start a blog and the other is an introspection on Chasing your comforts. Both articles are cliché ideas but I believe I have made it a bit different by adding some personal insights and research.
Anyway, I was being a cliché right now by linking to my own articles😅. So, back to the topic. The main takeaway from this email will be to not just simply write about the idea that is popular or in the talk. Dig deep and find out one specific idea that you want to talk about that will comprehend and support or start a debate on the popular idea.
- Don't write about the cliché ideas i.e. ideas that people are already writing about.
- Write about the Idea from an different angle maybe a different point in the idea that will let readers think about it.
- Research more if you have the time and dig deeper.
Thank you for reading.
For more of Perell's work, you can signup for the 50 Days of Writing Course by clicking and signing up to receive one mail every day with amazing take on writing.