Have you tried writing with Miles Davis?

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Reading time: Less than 1 minute

This is my weekly installment of “writing about writing,” in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help writers. Today I look at a piece on writing and Miles Davis.

I love extended metaphors. And I love music. Guess what happens when someone combines those two Ms, as writer Aaron Gilbreath did in the New York Times? You get an article that reveals some fascinating insights about writing.

Headlined Writing With Miles Davis, the piece argues that less is more. “Davis,” writes Gilbreath, “showed me how to be affecting without being opaque, lyrical without being verbose…He also underscored the value of experimentation and reinvention, the fact that it was all right to change, to try new styles, even when evolution meant abandoning your old comfortable routines, or worse, forsaking peoples’ favorites.”

It’s fun to take seemingly disconnected forms of art and spin them together. I know one of the most popular pieces I’ve ever written — William Shakespeare’s 5 best copywriting tips — makes it appear as though Shakespeare was a copywriter. I like the way Gilbreath is able to take the work of a jazz musician and spin it into a virtual symphony of ideas by illustrating the relationship between writing and making music.

Art is all connected, baby. Remember, you read it here first!

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