Seek out unfamiliar ideas and new language
I'm not very good with cars, or sowing or football (amongst other things) so I'm trying to learn about these unfamiliar things as a writing exercise.
For example: my father, who is a Birmingham City supporter through and through, recently explained the concept of players being 'cup tied'. This is probably why I struggle with football; the business of it bores me, but hey (holds hands up) that's just me.
An exercise in seeking out new language
Buy a magazine in a niche area or activity you wouldn't ordinarily buy - in my case World Soccer. Read it and take note of the language. Make a list of synonyms of the words in the texts that are both familiar and unfamiliar.
Choose a paragraph of text, read it and then cover it over. Write down as much as you can remember in your own words, using the synonyms from earlier. Read back what you've written and compare for accuracy. Rewrite many times in your own words using the synonyms until the accuracy of the ideas is spot on.
Write a short character description and incorporate it into your new idea.