Z is for Zebras

“When you hear hoofbeats, think of horses, not zebras”


San Diego Zoo Photo Credit: Doree Weller

San Diego Zoo
Photo Credit: Doree Weller

This is a saying most often used in medicine, to encourage you to look for the most obvious causes first, instead of the more exotic ones.  I think it’s a good way to think, in some cases.  But in writing, why not look for zebras?  Or unicorns?  Or centaurs?

The point is, in much of life, logic is the order of the day.  Thinking outside the box isn’t alway valued.  Creativity can be looked down on.  Creativity isn’t always efficient or neat.  Sometimes creativity takes the long way around.

We the creative, the people who think of zebras, should value ourselves and one another.  Creativity is something to be celebrated, but we ourselves have to recognize our ability to “think different.”  We have to value it and know that it’s okay to think of centaurs.  Because maybe the most obvious answer to the hoofbeats is “horses,” but it’s not always the most interesting.

Dare to be different.  Dare to be unique, and you.  Because from creativity comes the wonderful and the innovative.

When you hear hoofbeats, what do you think of?


One comment on “Z is for Zebras

  1. An excellent point! In “real life,” I try to stick with the horses, but in my writing I look for the zebras. 🙂

    Happy Z Day!

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption
    Minion, Capt. Alex’s Ninja Minion Army
    The 2014 Blogging from A-Z Challenge

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