Words are the clay the writer works with to mold ideas, stories, and articles that will impact others. Also the paint that colors the mood, setting, and action of a story. Vocabulary is important. It's the difference between your character walking across the street or shuffling, stumbling, limping.
Each of those words offers a different picture in the minds of your readers.
Writers want to find the best word to fit their sentences. But sometimes those words hide. Play on the tip of our minds, lurking in plain sight while staying just out of reach.
Aha! We have tools, treasure chests of words that we can dive into and search for just that right word.
The Thesaurus. Every writer should have one or more.
Also have a good dictionary. I have one that displays the date the word came into use. Very useful for those writing historicals. (Once I had a character taking a nosedive off her horse. Ooops. Nosedive came about because of the airplane. Definitely not a fixture in the old west : )
There are Flip Dictionaries
One source I found online is: Visual Thesaurus. A useful tool that shows you a web of related words. The Vocabgrabber allows you to make a list of the words you use in a chapter. Very helpful in finding those pet words that latch onto your mind and plop themselves into your story time and time and time again.
Start flexing your vocab abs. Read lists of active verbs to help your mind create unique sentences and get out of the rut of overused plain words.
My goal - Refresh my brain with 100 words a week. Not necessarily new words, but those I haven't used in a while. Let your mind play.
Happy Word Hunting!