Writers & Musicians: How are they alike?

Have you ever gone to a writer’s conference where a group of writers didn’t have a musical jam session after the last meeting? I haven’t. I also noticed that many of the very successful writers were among those playing instruments.
I left my last conference wondering if there was a connection between playing music and writing. While still at the conference, I talked tone of the presenters, W.C. Jameson about a earlier speaker at the conference who also played guitar. W. C. looked surprised as if I was trying to trick him, then said, “I play music with him all the time. We never have to rehearse; we’ve played so many times together.”
When I returned home, I conducted a short review of the literature on the subject. I found there was an apparent association between high achievers, especially creative thinkers and musical talent. “Their experiences suggest that music training sharpens other qualities: Collaboration. The ability to listen. A way of thinking that weaves together disparate ideas. The power to focus on the present and the future simultaneously (Lipman, J., NYT 10/12/2013).”
The more I thought about the connection between writing and music, and the more I read, the more convinced I was that each influences the other. We really don’t have to go very far to see that creative thinking, listening skills, and weaving together diverse ideas, whether in music or in writing involve the same set of skills. Moreover, strengthening those skills is important to either pursuit as well.
I stopped playing music and participating in musical events when I left college. I felt I didn’t have time for frivolous pursuits. Lipman points out that many successful people keep up with practicing their music through their professional lives.
It turns out my hunch about writing and music was spot on. My conclusion from this is I should go back to playing an instrument and practicing music, if I want to improve my writing skills that is.