I think I’m like most of the creative-types I know who hold down a nine to fiver; when I get in the mood to write, or take photos or work on a project I’ve had simmering for months (even years) I am not fully immersing myself in it. Instead I go at it half-heartedly because I may have just remembered I forgot to pay the cable bill, or I ran out of milk this morning and now no cereal for breakfast or maybe, heaven forbid, I have an 8:30 meeting at work and have to get up at 5:00am or else I’ll be sitting in commuter hell at 8:20am making excuses to my boss! Time after time, the wonderful poem I was inspired to write this afternoon or the creative montage that I envisioned at 2:15am is gone, in a puff and a huff, faster than the wolf blew down little piggy’s stick house! For any of us wanting to explore our creative side, in a world where putting pita bread and hummus on the table takes a priority, the objective is to seclude ourselves, physically and mentally. Wherever it is in your house that you do your best work, you need to go there. Close the door; shut off the cell phone;, if you need a computer, don’t read your email and shut off your IM; period. Then set a timer for 1/2 hour, an hour, two hours, however much time you have determined you can spend on your creative project…and don’t stop until that alarm sounds. At that point and only then, you can pay the bills, go shopping and worry about the millions of cars you’ll be playing chicken with the next morning.