About the Symbols for Writers Series: I’ve found that symbols and imagery can trigger valuable insights into writing, life, problem-solving, finding joy, and more. This series was born because I wanted a collection of symbolic images coupled with text and questions intended to kick-start the creative process, help identify a creative block, or aid expression of complex concepts in condensed packages–and I thought you might enjoy such a collection, too! If you’d like to know more about how this came to be, check out the first post in the series.
How to Use
Following the image is a brief visualization exercise to help you identify what the image means to your subconscious—but there are no rules. If you prefer, skip to the suggested meanings that follow and see if any resonate. You can also use the image as a creative prompt, or as a reminder of some key idea you want to remember in the coming week.
What thoughts and emotions does this image bring to mind?
Take a good look at the image above, then close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Let your mind relax and wander a moment, then picture the infant above. What emotion does the image trigger?
What part of your life does it bring to mind?
What part of your writing does it bring to mind?
If you’re stuck, take 5 minutes and free associate starting with the image and the words beside it, or use one of the following questions as a writing prompt:
- What part of yourself feels new?
- What part of your creative self requires care and nurturing?
- Imagine the pure, unburdened joy seen in a baby’s smile: what does that feel like? What could bring such a smile to your soul?
- If the baby you envision is crying–do you have some need that isn’t being met? Some person or situation that leaves you feeling helpless? A crying baby can symbolize something that is lacking in your life. What might that be?
Take some time to write about your experience and the insights, ideas, or questions it generates.