In an effort to refrain from cliche in my writing I spent an hour today speculating how to describe the movement of leaves of trees and of slender plants in the wind. Easy? You think it's easy? Eliminate the use of the words, dancing, swaying, bowing, and then see how easy the description comes. Finally I set upon the use of the word, shiver, because if you watch closely everything moves in the wind. Indeed they shiver to varying degrees as we do according to varying degrees of cold.
Avoiding cliches is one of the chief challenges of a writer. The English language is powerful, broad, and magnificent. With enough thought a new phrase can be thought up to replace the old cliches. Nature and the description of her intricate actions help me to train my mind. This training, hopefully, will make it easy to replace old cliches with new, bold descriptions. Even old phrases can be made new if a writer rearranges the wording, perhaps replacing a word here or there.