The Impact of Clichés on Writing: Insights from Jonathan Blum

Are you tired of reading blog posts that feel repetitive and lack originality? Do you ever wonder why some writers stand out from the crowd while others blend in? If you’ve ever pondered these questions, then this blog post is for you. Today, we will delve into the impact of clichés on writing, as we gain valuable insights from the renowned author, Jonathan Blum. Discover how clichés can hinder your writing and how you can avoid falling into their trap. So grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and prepare to enhance your writing skills in ways you never thought possible. The journey begins now.

The Impact of Clichés on Writing: Insights from Jonathan Blum


Writing is a powerful tool for expressing ideas, emotions, and experiences. It captivates readers, transporting them to different worlds and allowing them to see through the eyes of the writer. However, as with any form of art, writing has its pitfalls. One such pitfall is the excessive use of clichés, which can weaken the impact of a piece of writing. In this article, we will explore the insights of Jonathan Blum, a renowned author and writing instructor, on the impact of clichés on writing. Let’s dive in!

The Hazards of Clichés

Clichés are overused expressions or phrases that have lost their originality and impact due to their repetitive nature. They can range from popular idioms such as “time flies” to tired similes like “as light as a feather.” While clichés may seem harmless, they can have a significant impact on the quality of writing. Here’s what Jonathan Blum has to say about it:

  1. Loss of Originality: One of the major drawbacks of using clichés is the loss of originality in writing. As Jonathan Blum explains, “Clichés can make your writing sound generic and uninteresting. They fail to capture the unique voice and perspective of the writer.”

  2. Weakens the Emotional Impact: Clichés often fail to evoke genuine emotions in readers. According to Blum, “When you use a cliché, you’re relying on a tired phrase that no longer carries the weight it once did. It dilutes the emotional impact you wish to convey.”

  3. Lack of Creativity: Clichés can be seen as a sign of laziness or lack of creativity. Blum emphasizes the importance of originality, stating, “Readers appreciate fresh and innovative writing. Clichés are a shortcut that robs your work of its creative potential.”

  4. Impacts Character Development: Characters play a vital role in storytelling, and clichés can hinder their development. Blum observes, “Using clichés to describe characters can result in one-dimensional and predictable portrayals. It’s essential to explore deeper and more nuanced descriptions.”

Avoiding Clichés: A Writer’s Challenge

As writers, it is crucial to recognize and challenge clichés in our writing. Jonathan Blum offers valuable insights on how to avoid falling into the trap of clichés and improve our writing:

  1. Embrace Originality: Blum suggests actively seeking unique and fresh ways of expressing your ideas. “Challenge yourself to find alternatives to commonly used phrases. Experiment with new metaphors, similes, and descriptive language,” he advises.

  2. Develop Authentic Characters: To avoid clichéd character descriptions, Blum recommends delving deeper into your characters’ personalities. “Capture their complexities, quirks, and idiosyncrasies. Show readers the depth of your characters through vivid and original language,” he suggests.

  3. Transcend Surface-Level Writing: Instead of relying on clichéd phrases, Blum encourages writers to dig deeper and explore more profound themes and ideas. “Challenge yourself to uncover unique perspectives and profound insights. Your writing should offer readers something beyond what they’ve already heard,” he notes.

  4. Edit, Edit, Edit: Lastly, Blum emphasizes the importance of thorough editing. “Review your writing critically, specifically looking for clichés. Replace them with fresh and engaging language that enhances your reader’s experience,” he advises.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. Q: Who is Jonathan Blum?
    A: Jonathan Blum is an author and writing instructor. He has written two books of fiction and has received accolades for his work.

  2. Q: Can I connect with Jonathan Blum for writing classes?
    A: Yes, Jonathan Blum offers writing classes. You can connect with him through his website.

  3. Q: What are the hazards of using clichés in writing?
    A: Using clichés can result in loss of originality, weakened emotional impact, lack of creativity, and hindered character development.

  4. Q: How can writers avoid clichés?
    A: Writers can avoid clichés by embracing originality, developing authentic characters, transcending surface-level writing, and thoroughly editing their work.

  5. Q: Where can I find Jonathan Blum’s interviews and writing-related videos?
    A: Jonathan Blum has appeared on KCRW’s Bookworm twice, and you can find his interviews and writing-related videos there.


Clichés have a significant impact on the quality of writing. They can diminish the originality, emotional impact, and creativity in a piece of work. However, with guidance from experienced writers like Jonathan Blum, we can learn to avoid these pitfalls. By embracing originality, developing authentic characters, and transcending surface-level writing, we can elevate our writing to new heights. Let’s strive for fresh, engaging, and captivating writing that leaves a lasting impression on readers.

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