Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.
-- Stephen King
I've always liked this quote from Stephen King. I'm not a pretentious person in any aspect of my life. This quote kind of symbolizes how I live: simple, to the point, straight-forward. I write the same way.
Aren't there exceptions to every rule? In my writing, I rarely use a thesaurus. Really, really rarely. But I still use it upon occasion.
I have some problems with the thesaurus. When I reach for it, it's because I'm trying to find another way to say a word I've been using. Okay, overusing. In that situation, the thesaurus is the lazy way out. I usually find I'm better off rewriting the scene so that I use the word less often. After all, if I've repeated it so often I need to find a substitute word, I'm pretty sure the reader will be fed up of the word as well.
With this ms, I've been using the thesaurus more often. I'm writing in a new genre, Steampunk, where I get to make stuff up. Loving it! But naming these new devices is sometimes problematic. Cue the handy-dandy thesaurus. I've found it helps springboard my brain into creating more options so the name of the new device gives a hint to its purpose without sounding common.
Do you often use a thesaurus? How does it help you out with your writing?