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Before this fellow passenger on a recent flight started reading his book on Shoeless Joe Jackson, he pulled out a cigar and stuck it in his mouth. It stayed there (unlit) the entire time he was reading. It was quite clear the cigar was his crutch - an aid to more productive reading (and probably productivity in lots of his other activities too).

We all have crutches; some are creativity crutches. Mine include big glasses of Diet Dr. Pepper heaped with crushed ice, plus Sharpie markers and many varieties of paper. All these help me be more creative.

What are your crutches? Importantly, think about ones that work well for you. But also consider crutches that aren't really providing much help anymore. It's always good to know what's working and what isn't when you need assistance easing into creative periods. - Mike Brown