Write a Mini Autobiography

Picture of a bear, a key, a cup, and a house in a collage style

Part One: Do not look at Part Two until you have completed Part One

In this exercise you will describe seven things — using whatever form you like-images, sentence fragments, sentences, a list. Keep your hand moving and don’t think. Don’t censor yourself. Write whatever first comes to your mind. This isn’t a “writing” exercise, it’s more than that. The idea is to get out whatever might be lurking in your subconscious. Time yourself. Allow 2 minutes per description. Don’t revise.

1) Describe your Ideal house, the house you’d like to live in.

2) You go for a walk. Describe the walk.

3) You meet a bear. What do you do?

4) You come to a river. What do you do?

5) You find a cup lying on the ground. Describe it and what you do with it.

6) You find a key lying on the ground. Describe it and what you do with it.

7) You come to a door. Describe it and what you do when you get there.



Part Two

Now I am going to decode this (Jungian) exercise for you. The point of it, insomuch as there ever is a point, is to show that you don’t have to go out of your way to use symbolism in your writing. Words are symbolic of their own accord.

Some words are archetypal, and this is Carl Jung’s interpretation. He was white, male, European — your relationship with things like bears might be very different if you are from a First Nations’ culture, etc.

What you have written is a mini-autobiography. This is how Jung would have decoded or analyzed you based on your answers.

1)The Ideal house represents you, how you see yourself.

2) The walk is your life, the direction in which it is going or from which it is coming. Trees represent friends.  

3) Bear means trouble, how you react to conflict.

4) River is sex, sexuality.

5) Cup is love.

6) Key is knowledge.

7) Door is death.

Now, read over what you have written, with the interpretation in mind!


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