In the past, we've done our leveling guides here at WoW Insider as sprawling, multi-post epics, spanning 10 or 20 levels a week over the course of a month, covering every aspect of every facet of everything you could ever want to know about leveling each class in the game. The problem with that approach is that you could probably just go in blind and level your mage from 1 to 85 faster than I could tell you how to do it. The simple fact of the matter is that the leveling game just isn't terribly difficult. The process has been streamlined over the years to the point that I don't believe such detailed leveling guides are really necessary anymore. Most of this game is intuitive and user friendly now, and the part of the game that really requires in-depth strategy doesn't really start until after the experience-gaining part of it has stopped.
Knowing this, I won't be filling this guide with talent analysis, ways to optimize your level 45 boss fight rotation, or a detailed travelogue of every quest hub you'll be traipsing through along the way. This will be a more stripped-down endeavor, focusing on the parts of leveling that I think are important -- not the spell coefficients and spreadsheets, but the basic concepts your mage needs to learn while leveling, not only to make the process easier and more enjoyable, but also to help them step from mage adolescence into mage adulthood so they can shoot Deathwing in the face with a Fireball of wisdom and maturity.