As promised, here is the worksheet from the 5 Senses workshop
TRAINING YOURSELF TO WRITE A RICHER BOOK, EVERY
Lusciousness by Barbara
1. Take time to
do things that feed your senses, all of them. Go to beautiful gardens and museums, fabric stores and restaurants. Smell roses, perfumes, other people.
2. Make a habit of eavesdropping and buy sunglasses so
you can stare more easily.
3. Carry a notebook and make sketches of things. They don’t have to be skilled or even
competent, they’ll just help remind you to really SEE things. A good second is to use your cell phone
camera, a LOT. If you see something that jolts your senses, take a picture of
4. Travel. Wherever you can. Go to new neighborhoods. Go to faraway places. Pay attention to your surroundings, but also
pay attention to how you feel exploring them. Are you excited, standoffish, worried about looking foolish or intruding
where you should not go?
5. Find music you
love and play it often. Go to concerts
or out to listen to music in whatever venue you can enjoy. Go to the symphony. Go to plays. Watch movies.
hobbies that excite your senses. Visual
people might enjoy things like making stained glass or quilts or learning to use
watercolors. Auditory people might like
learning to play an intrustrument or collecting the music of a certain form or
era. (I like the blues and
baroque.) Texture people might like
models or sewing.
I think a lot of writers are magpies, and that’s
good. If you get a yen to learn to cook
Indian food, or learn to speak Arabic,
or play the cello, go for it. I promise
that far from taking away from your writing, it will add to it.
7. Read poetry. Aloud. This is something we’ve moved away from in our society, but writers are
the natural audience for poets. Read it
and feel it. There is a poet for
everyone out there. Find one you
8. Be alert to
the themes and ideas you love to use in your work. How do you use them? What interests
you? How can you keep coming up with
fresh ways to illustrate them?
9. Spend the
extra two weeks to make a manuscript really sparkle. To layer in those colors, the details of
smell and touch and song, to tweak a scarf from blue to orange.
10. PLAY. ENJOY YOURSELF! Remember, this is about making something
beautiful, not a big, impossible challenge.