Zebras are rather interesting creatures – much more than just stripey horses. When you look at them, it doesn’t seem like they should survive. They’re black and white and live in an environment that is primarily brown, with some green from time to time. When it comes to natural camouflage, zebras suck.
However, when they band together, things change. No, they don’t blend in with their surroundings or anything. But when there’s a threat and they all start moving, it’s almost impossible to tell one from another. If a lion tries to stalk a particular zebra from the herd, it’ll just get confused trying to plunge into the middle and grab one. That’s why they pretty much stick to the edges and pick off the sick or old ones that can’t keep up with the rest of the pack.
For a writer, the ideas in his or her head are a lot like zebras. A writer will get to the blank piece of paper or the computer screen, ready to write… and then just freeze. Which idea will be the one to lead to the next great work of prose? That one? Wait, where did it go? Maybe that – wait, or that – maybe – AARGH!
Well, fellow writer, let me assure you of one thing. You are not a lion. And those are not zebras. Don’t get sidetracked by their evasive tactics! Just reach in there and grab it! Pin it down! Analyze it, dissect it, plant it and make it grow. As you can see, there are plenty of other ideas, just like a herd of zebras, but you can ignore them once you’ve captured one of them. When you are finished with the one you have, or grow tired of it, you can go for another one. But while you have the one, relish it and enjoy it. You have something to write about now. Don’t let the blank page intimidate you.
Go get ’em, tiger! Erm… lion. Whatever, just get writing!