I was very excited about the exercise we did for 'work week' at The Writers @ Lovedean. Samples of food to taste, things to smell and objects to feel were laid out on the tables. Two groups of nine writers were asked to describe them WITHOUT using an existing cliche. After a few frozen moments, the creative juices started flowing in earnest.
Smell was the sense that seemed to grab childhood memories out of the recesses. One writer described nuts as the 'taste of failure' due to the diets she had been on. Another mentioned the taste of dark chocolate brought memories of 'being constipated' because of ex lax laxatives. Lemon juice caused memories of exotic relatives who had lived abroad.
Each writer linked the samples to their own very personal and unique experiences, using strong and powerful descriptions. So why do we fall so easily into tired worn cliches when writing?