Descriptions

In the next weeks, possibly months, I will be practising descriptive writing. 

In my life as a writer, I’ve typically been writing about topics people usually find dry. Like education, public policy, finance. 

One of my big pleasures is turning something that’s seen as “boring” and jargon-filled, into something that the general reader (who’s curious enough) can appreciate. 

But I’ve been attempting to write more lifestyle pieces lately. And I’m not great at it, especially when it comes to describing food and drink. 

While I love food facts, and I think a lot about where the food comes from, how it’s made and the stories behind a particular dish, I have much less to say about flavours and textures. 

Boba is sweet and chewy. Spaghetti is cooked al dente. The Sauvignon Blanc I just downed was dry and slightly acidic. 

I don’t know how to write about delicate bursts of flavour or robust meaty textures.

I know that the mushrooms I sautéed right after picking them tasted so much better than the ones I get at the supermarket. But how do I explain the difference? 

One thing I’ve learned about writing is that practice makes progress. 

Back in 2006, I had trouble writing dialogue in fiction. So I started writing fiction with heaps of dialogue on a regular basis. And eventually, my writing started to flow. 

Writing dialogue became doable. And eventually it became easy.

Perhaps writing food and drink descriptions will become doable as well. And then eventually, easy.

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