The most embarrassing thing I do when I’m working in the privacy of my studio is suck on one of these cigarette pencils.
My dad, my two brothers, and my best friend were all nicotine addicts when I was growing up, so when I first tried smoking cigarettes like every other moronic college student, I was too scared by how much I liked them to form a habit.
Then I bought one of the cigarette pencils in a novelty store a few years ago and was surprised how much dangling one from my lips helped me concentrate on my work. Really strange. I also, ironically, got kind of addicted to these tea tree toothpicks I originally bought to help my dad stop smoking. I like to chew on one when we watch TV.
Then, a few weeks ago, musician Blake Leyh tweeted things he learned from Brian Eno as a studio in 1980, and the first one was: “You can hold an unlit cigarette in your hand in the studio instead of smoking it, & it has much the same effect.”
So I’m not the only one!