The Sanctum Scriptorium

Writers need a place to write. For wordsmiths both novice and pro, carving out your own writing space is essential, like breathing air or drinking water. Where you’re most comfortable writing is all up to you. It could be at a table in a crowded coffee shop, or a quiet space at your local library, or the kitchen table. It doesn’t matter where you write. It could be in your bed, or deep in the the woods by a mystical glen surrounded by mushrooms and talking animals.

The point is, once you’ve got a place to write, you bond with that location. You go there frequently and sit with your laptop or notebook and begin slinging those words. When I moved into my house a few years ago, I needed a writing room. That part was non-negotiable. I craved a place where I could be alone, shut the door, and concentrate. I converted transformed one bedroom into my personal study, where I could store my books and writing paraphernalia and focus on making all the words nice and pretty.

Thus, the Sanctum Scriptorium was born. It’s the one sacred space where I can just forget about life and write. At first, I had an old leather swivel chair that creaked and wobbled. I ditched it and picked up a better chair. Comfort is essential when you’re sitting for over an hour in front of a computer. You also want something ergonomic on your lower back, because poor posture can creep up on you when you least expect it. Trust me on this.

The Sanctum Scriptorium


1. MacBook Air. It’s an older model laptop I got for school, but it works like a charm for writing. I hook it to a laser printer when I need hardcopy for editing.

2. Teacup. “Keep Calm and Carry On.” Perfect advice for writing and life.

3. Memento Mori. Novelty skull I obtained years ago. Reminds me that life is fleeting and I should write every day.

4. Paddle. From my college fraternity days in Alpha Phi Omega, a national service fraternity.

5. Executive Knight Pen Holder. He bestows a Pilot fountain pen for special occasions.

6. Candlestick Phone. It still works, but rotary phones are a bit of pain these days. You also can’t Tweet on it.

7. Astrological Hourglass. Each grain of sand slowly tumbling downward, signifying the passage of time and human folly.

8. Plush Kurt Vonnegut. He keeps a silent vigil, a fluffy sentinel watching over the bookshelf. So it goes.

9. Diploma. Displaying the university diploma in the writing room is a must, reminding the writer that an M.A. in Writing was definitely not a waste of time or money. It was not a waste of time or money. It was not a waste of time or money…

10. Old Typewriter. The bulky and obsolete Royal typewriter is there to remind me of how far writing technology has come and to act as a backup if a solar flare wipes out all computer tech on Earth.

11. Books. Volumes of every subject and interest. from novels, nonfiction, writing craft books. You, too, can have a personal library that takes over half your house and multiple floors, for can a writer truly call himself a writer if he doesn’t drown in many tomes?

12. Notebooks. Filled with insane scribblings, half-baked ideas, and random observations, the notebooks make it possible for the budding wordsmith to plot that great novel which will never get written.

13. Gargoyle Reading a Book. Another bookshelf guardian, this one with horns and wings.

14. Bowler Hat. Perched atop a glass head, the fashionable bowler hat tells guests, “This writer is traditional, yet bold in his headwear, and also might like Charlie Chaplin.”

15. Trashcan. Every writing room must have a trashcan, where writers can crumple up paper and toss their failed ideas, like in the movies. Soon it will overflow with wadded-up paper nightmares borne out of frustration and not enough sleep.

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