How Do I Take More Exciting Pictures?

The question was posed on Quora and the responses have been very constructive. The money quote for me was:

You have to care seriously about what you are photographing. Most photographs are dull or cliche because there is no emotion in them. No amount of technical mastery will help you overcome this. Find a subject that you care about… If you care deeply it will come through and your picture will be interesting — not just to you, but others as well.