Monday, September 28, 2009


What makes a writing sanctuary? A place where you can feel safe to be creative? This was a question that nagged me for some time. For years, my workspace was a source of drama for me because I didn't have a desk or surface where I could perch my computer. It came down to a question of space and a difficult choice. I could either give up my drawing table and replace it with a desk, or do without the desk altogether. In the end, I decided to reclaim my drawing table and turn it into a writing sanctuary.

It started with a totem: a three inch statue of a pink alien, picking its nose with its tongue and made for me by a friend from design school. Then I added a beanie baby gorilla, a hand-knit cactus I found in a London flee market, and a rubber ducky. Soon after, there followed mardi gras beads which I hung from the lamp, a penguin mug to hold my pens, an rough-cut amethyst stone from a recent trip to Brazil, and a fabric flower lei I got at a tikki-themed bar. And this was only the beginning.

Over the past few years, I have continued to add mascots to my sanctuary and while some people might find the space too cluttered for work, for me it's just right. I've even taken to carrying around a few portable totems in my writing notebook (a slide frame with no picture, a postcard of a Tiffany stained glass window and paint chips). This way, no matter where I am, I can always have part of my sanctuary with me.

What about you? Do you have a special workplace sanctuary?

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