“It’s very hard to stop doing things you’re used to doing. You almost have to dismantle yourself and scatter it all around and then put a blindfold on and put it back together so that you avoid old habits.”more info
source: Lowside of the Road: A Life of Tom Waits, by Barney Hoskyns (New York: Three Rivers Press, 2010), 276.
“Habits are powerful—people don’t realize how powerful habits are, and how much of their success or lack of success in life is attributable to sheer habit. Be aware of your habits, and what is turning in from an occasional to a regular thing, and what are the regular things that you don’t even think about any more, because they are so habitual that they have become invisible. Down to the very basics: how much and when do you sleep, what you eat, how you sit, whether you walk or bike or drive. When and where do you get your best ideas? What sorts of activities and conversations leave you feeling happier and smarter? What do you continually do that leaves you feeling demoralized. Be mindful of your habits. Make them intentional.”more info
source: commencement speech, Ringling College of Art and Design, May 6, 2011.
“After a day of giving up cigarettes I have decided what the hell, and am back on the old routine. I found that my smokeless yesterday didn’t bother me at all. It just seemed, merely, silly to deny myself that pleasure. I think it is really the adult substitute for thumbsucking.”more info
source: July 1954 letter to Avis DeVoto in As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010), 183.
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“It’s important to me to have a place to work outside of where I live. So I have always found myself an office. I go off to work as if I had a clock to punch; at the end of the day I come home as if I had just gotten off the commuter train. I need to impose a structure on myself.”more info
source: The Paris Review Interviews, vol. I (New York: Picador, 2006), 383.
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notes: Originally published in Issue 138 of The Paris Review, 1996.
“I am a completely horizontal author. I can’t think unless I’m lying down, either in bed or stretched on a couch and with a cigarette and coffee handy. I’ve got to be puffing and sipping. As the afternoon wears on, I shift from coffee to mint tea to sherry to martinis.”more info
source: The Paris Review Interviews, vol. I (New York: Picador, 2006), 28.
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notes: Originally published in Issue 16 of The Paris Review, 1957.
“As for the farmers, they are, for the most part, indistinguishable: here the tractor is red, there yellow; here a pair of dirty hands, there a pair of dirty hands. They are cultivators of the soil. They grow crops by pattern, by acre, by foresight, by habit.”more info