Sensory information brings your writing to life, but it may not come easily to you. I sometimes have to work at coming up with sensory details for my writing, probably because I seem to have a limited memory bank, no not my computer...me. I blame it on age, I have to blame something after all. To combat this problem I keep a notebook, actually two notebooks, filled with sensory details and other useful information that I have trouble retaining.
One notebook is in my purse and I write in it whenever I find myself waiting for someone or something. I have always hated being left to wait in the car, but once I started my sensory notebook I found I didn't mind it so much. While waiting I observe my surroundings and try to take note of what my senses are picking up. I also observe the activities taking place around me and write about them with special attention to sensory detail. If I run out of things to write I imagine myself in another setting and write about it from what little memory I have often coaxing more and more details from the depths of my mind. You can do the same while waiting for your doctor/dentist, or anywhere you find you have time on your hands.
My notebook also has a section for writing down names that appeal to me, locations I hear about, news items of interest and sometimes story ideas that pop-up when you are involved in non-writing activities.
I have a larger notebook that I use at home. I take it with me when I go outside to enjoy the weather and my surroundings. I live in the Pacific Northwest and there is much to appreciate outdoors. Sometimes I write whatever pops into my head and fill it with sensory bits and pieces writing on and on until I can't write anymore. I plan to take this notebook with me on vacation at the shore this summer. New surroundings mean new smells, tastes, sounds, etc. Write as much information as you can think of about what you are experiencing. Is that new food hot/cold, sweet/sour, smooth/gritty, and what does it remind you of? Does it make you gag or slip down your throat too quickly?
Sadly for me, a few years ago I lost my sense of smell, suddenly and permanently. I miss it terribly. My home is surrounded with Honeysuckle, Lilac, Jasmine, Lavender, Pine and so much more. I can't smell any of it and I struggle to think how to describe what you cannot experience. Had I known this was going to happen I would have written it all down while the scents were still there for me.
It is not too late for me to note the feel, look, sound or taste of things. How about you? Have you come to your senses?
(c)2005 Sharon A. Soffe