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Living Beyond Cliche -- Writer's Poke #116

For Writers:

In his book The Purpose-Driven Life, Rick Warren suggests that we all have a metaphor for life. It is this metaphor that shapes our perspectives and determines how we live. For example, people that believe “life is a game of cards” (chance) probably live much differently than people that think “life is a mission” (purpose).

Metaphors are a kind of shorthand; they connect one “thing” with another “thing.” In the case of life, our understanding of life theoretically should grow when we see it in the context of a race, a journey, etc.

As shorthand, however, metaphors also open themselves up to clichéd thinking. Who hasn’t heard that life is a rollercoaster, or a prison, or a mountain climb?

Is how you live your life no better than a cliché?

Consider your metaphor for life. Do you naturally migrate to one of the clichés noted above? Spend some time developing a fresh metaphor that better captures how you approach your life.

“The greatest thing in style is to have command of metaphor.” -- Aristotle


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