My name is Nick Moore and I’m your guide to the world of metaphor.
In my professional life, I specialize in specialization. Daily, I ask: How do you translate the knowledge of experts into a format non-experts can understand, digest, and use?
We tend to assume knowledge needs invention. But I find it more often needs transportation and translation from the brains of one group to the brains of another, from one industry’s common sense to another’s cutting-edge innovation.
I started collecting metaphors to make my job easier and my writing more impactful. I made Metaphor Map to do the same for you.
About the problem
Some of the most powerful ideas in the world rely on metaphorical packaging to be understood, to resonate, and to be remembered:
Software is eating the world
The universe began with a big bang
All the world’s a stage and we are merely players
Writers benefit from using good metaphors more often, but it’s hard to think of them. It’s next to impossible to think of so many you can be confident in your choice.
About the project
Metaphors are how we compare unknown things to known things and in so doing, surface similarities and differences that make the unknown knowable. Every new idea requires packaging that positions new ideas in ways that can be understood.
There’s a world of metaphors that connects all written work and at Metaphor Map, I’m making this network visible. Writers throughout history and across fields use metaphors to evoke and explain, but few have tried to study and systematize this shared method.
I’m collecting all the metaphors I can find; filtering them by what’s effective; sorting for which you can best adapt; and explaining each one, so you can find the metaphor you didn’t know you needed.
Do you know more than you can convey?
Do you have ideas that readers don’t remember or use?
Do you struggle to speak beyond your expertise, in a language non-experts can understand?
This project is for you. Don’t hurl yourself against writer’s block: Search for a metaphor you can adapt from writers across history. Leverage the tools made before you. Make your ideas heard.
Subscribe. Map this territory with me.