Today’s challenge is actually a preliminary to next week’s challenge, so don’t forget what you learn.
There’s no actual writing involved in this one. Instead, your mission (and you should choose to accept it) is to find an object you take for granted and spend at least three minutes observing it. This could be something as simple as a fork, a coffee cup, or a flower, or as complicated as the keyboard on your computer. The only requirement is that it’s something you otherwise wouldn’t have spent time considering. (Note: Your own navel is disqualified, as most writers spend far too much time contemplating it. Choosing “someone else’s navel” is likely to get you arrested. Use good judgment.)
Once you find an object, take the time to look closely. Consider its details, its lines, the way it catches the light. Is it solid or frail? How would you describe it to someone from a part of the world where they don’t exist, or not in this form? To a blind person? To a child?
How would you describe it in ten words or less?
Most importantly, why did it fade into the background before? What makes you take this object for granted?
A good writer tells you what (s)he sees. A great writer sees things most people would miss. The more you increase your awareness of the objects around you, the more weapons you have in the arsenal when the time comes.