Charlotte Eriksson, AKA The Glass Child, is an artist, author, songwriter, dreamer, and wanderer. She is the founder of the artist collective, Broken Glass Records. She is also an author of 4 books of prose and poetry including her latest release, Everything Changed When I Forgave Myself. Eriksson’s personal mission is to touch at least one soul out there and make them feel they belong.
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?
I grew up in Gothenburg, Sweden. I grew up in a family of elite athletes, which taught me discipline and ambition. And I think that’s why I also grew up appreciating art so much because that thing of daring to show emotions was such a new thing for me. It felt brave and rebellious to not ‘suck it up’ but to dive into the pain or struggle and create something from it.
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?
People are everything. Take care of them as treasures. Call strangers your friends and call friends your family. You will need them.
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
“Just make good music and the audience will come.”. Haha, no such thing. Or “just write a great book and it will sell by itself.” No no no, you write a great book and then you either hire a marketing strategist or become one yourself. Art doesn’t just ‘spread’ organically, you have to make it spread.
Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?
A few moments stand out. The first one is when I was 21/22 and lived pretty much on the road. I had no money, no job, jo education, and was 100% dedicated to building a life as a songwriter. I had given up my little room in London because I could no longer afford it and spend 18 months going everywhere and nowhere to spread my music. I slept on fans’ and friends’ couches, airports, played for my dinner, and was so so so lost, tired, worn out, and scared. Those months taught me so much, the first one being how little you need to really survive. I still lean into that in times of uncertainty: if I just get to do what I love every day and can find a way to simply cover the essentials, I know I’ll be fine.
But it also taught me about the feeling of not having a home to go home to. How freeing it can seem but how tiring it really is to never fully feel safe. It’s been my biggest mission the last few years to build myself a safe home.
What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
Treasuring my audience more than anything else. I know that if they leave, I have nothing. Your followers are everything.
Also not being scared to reinvent yourself on the way. Art should reflect your real journey through life, don’t be afraid to change and move on.
What is your morning routine?
I wake up around 6 am, make coffee and immediately sit down to work. I work on whatever creative project I’m currently busy with (right now finishing a new book + album). Around 9.30 am I either go for a run or do an hour of yoga + meditation. Then I shower, eat breakfast, and have a few hours of admin/marketing work.
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
Building a strong meditation and spiritual practice. After my years on the road, I developed anxiety and felt chronic worrying no matter what I did. Meditation, yoga, studying the yogic philosophies and other existential writers.
What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?
Planning and clarity is everything. I don’t start working on anything until I am 100% sure about what I want to get out of this project, why I’m doing it, and what my clear goals are. I spend 80% of my time planning and strategising, then 20% executing.
What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?
So many … the first one that threw me into the world of philosophy and spirituality was Reflections on the Art of Living by Joseph Campbell. I got back and re-read every single year and I still learn things from it.
The second book is Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke. It’s such a short and simple book, but if you pick it up at the right time in your life it will be profound. I had just moved to London to embark on this mission of becoming a songwriter, and that book felt like reading letters from someone older and wiser who truly cares about you.
Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?
“Resolve and thou art free.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I’m someone who will question and doubt and spend the majority of my time thinking about different ways of living. When I just make the decision that this is what I am going to do, no plan B, I can stop wasting energy and time on questioning and instead go all in.