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My Writer’s Altar


the altar

My writer’s altar is up – creating it was actually a simple affair.  There were no singing angels, no chiming bells – just something short of spring cleaning.

What happened was, I decided to surf the internet for a quick look on what other writer’s altars look like. I found only one site with a picture on it – the writer built an altar on the window sill in front of the computer.  Not for me – I don’t have a window sill anywhere near my computer. book shelf2

So I decided to pull out my books on writing (a good number of which, I have not yet read) to look for ideas on how to build  a writer’s altar. It was then that I realized that the books on writing were mixed up with the books on energy healing, art, spirituality, crafts, gardening…and all others. Of course it had been that way for a long time, but it didn’t seem to matter nor bother me before.

The decision came quickly – I knew that if I were to begin to feel like a writer again, I needed to give the books on writing their own space.

“There are things that hold power for you.”  -Andy Coutourier

I cleared up one space that was not really being utilized to its fullest, hauled the books on writing to the other side of the room and arranged  them. It felt good – so good. It was actually liberating.  For the first time in my life, my books on writing had a place of their own.

There were two stuffed toys that I had kept in that space to keep them out of reach from my two  room mates – Athena and Janus,  two Shitzus who love to dismember stuffed toys and pull out their innards.  The dolphin and turtle stuffed dolls were presents, and they are representations of two animals that are close to my heart.  I gave them special places on top of the books.

The space had previously been my spiritual altar, before I moved the altar to a higher place.  A wall decor with the Star of Bethlehem hang on the center and  I decided to keep it where it was – a fitting symbol for the re-birth that was happening in my writing life.

I took  a couple of shells and a crystal rock that were on top of my writing desk and they too, got their special places in what was fast becoming not only a book shelf filled with writing books but an altar as well.  I hang a naive painting on each end of the shelf.  A Japanese teacup and saucer that were near my TV set, and a whimsical oil burner completed the picture.

There it was – like a flash:  My writer’s altar that contained many things that held power for me: Gifts of words and wisdom from other writers, gifts from other people, gifts from the sea and the earth, two naive paintings which were my gift to myself when we visited Yugoslavia, and symbols of my favorite ritual – tea drinking, with the Star of Bethlehem “shining”  at the center.

It was an exercise worth pondering upon and then acting upon – it made me feel like the writer in was coming back to life.

As it turned out, even as the books on writing spurred me towards creating my writer’s altar, none of  them – except for Andy Couturier’s,” Writing Open the Mind” – had anything on creating a writer’s altar.


  1. What a great idea! There is so much clutter in my writing space right now – it sucks the creativity right out of me. I think I need to do some spring cleaning, altar building of my own!


  2. What a great idea! I realized as I read your post, that I kind of have an unofficial writer’s altar on my desk – sea shells that relate to the sailing memoir I’m currently writing, a Native whale carving and inspiring quotes on the bulletin board. I’m going to make my altar a little more intentional.


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  5. Today, I went to the beachfront with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave
    it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.”
    She put the shell to her ear and screamed.
    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.

    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell someone!


    • LOL! There’s nothing that’s off topic for writers. A writer’s altar can be anywhere in the world. What you wrote is called “flash non-fiction,” a really funny one. Thanks for making me laugh!


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