When I'm reading a book, one of the things I hate the most is having to read four pages which explain the shape and colour of a tree in exquisite detail. I hate it. It makes me skip ahead to get to the good stuff.
As a direct result of me skipping detailed descriptions for as long as I have been reading, I am completely crap at writing them. For the most part, I avoid describing anything too much because I find it tedious to write, and that will become painfully obvious to anyone who attempts to read it.
The problem is, if these descriptions are missing, there is a gigantic gap in what people know about my characters. Items and furnishings in a character's home give an insight into who they are, as do the places they go to, and the people they know. Sure, sometimes imagination is good, but if too much is left unsaid, it makes the story hollow.
I know I am stating the obvious here, but it feels like one of those times when I need to write it down as another lesson I've learned (lol, you must all think I am a terrible writer, walking myself through the very basic and most obvious things!). The thing is, one of my biggest strengths is my ability to write emotion. I can describe things which happen inside a person's brain pretty easily. It's the physical things I struggle with.
Perhaps I need to set myself some homework, to read descriptions carefully and without my eyes glazing over. If you have any suggestion on how to improve in this area, please let me know!