I work as a real estate agent. Part of my job is writing the blurbs for property advertisements. This is a task which I had thought, before I started attempting it, that I would be quite good at. It turns out, I'm not yet. For some reason, when writing real estate, I turn into a cliche machine.
It's possible that because there are only so many words and ways to describe a house, everything that can possibly be said already has been. I scour the thesaurus, looking for alternatives to "spacious" or "comfortable" or "cosy" or "large". Even the alternatives are overused.
Another problem is that you are writing for the lowest common denominator, and you hit trouble if you deviate too far from common vocabulary. For example, my friend who is a well-educated and eloquent man, sent me a text message the other day after reading a competitor's ad in the Real Estate Guide. Charlotte's in fine form this weekend. What the fuck is a "timeless inglenook"?
I spend all afternoon trying to paint a picture with words, trying to sound original and enticing, and within 90-120 word count. It is a lot more difficult than I ever expected it would be.