3 Lessons on Creativity from The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle, starring Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, is based on Jeanette Walls’ best-selling memoir which recounts her unconventional coming-of-age story. Her father, Rex Walls, was an alcoholic dreamer, while her mother was an eccentric painter and artist. As children, Jeanette and her three siblings followed their parents’ bliss as they struggled through extreme poverty, striving to find stability.

Even though Walls’ parents were deeply flawed, they were creative beings to their core. Here are three lessons on creativity from The Glass Castle:

  1. Sometimes the fun is in the dreaming, don’t forget to create. Spending endless amounts of hours planning, scheming, and modifying your dreams can be fun, but it shouldn’t stop you from taking action. It will never be 100% how you want it because dreams change constantly as we grow. Just create.
  2. Ignore those who were born without vision (within reason). In one of my favorite scenes in the movie, Rex Walls dismisses his eldest daughter’s concerns about the rundown house they just moved into. He tells his other children, “Ignore her. She was born without vision.” We’ve all been there. Getting feedback from people who don’t “get” it can be a real bummer, but also consider the source. Seek the opinions of those you trust and admire. Look for those in your field who are successfully doing exactly what they want to do, or are at least working towards it. And then, just create.

  3. There is beauty in struggle. Doing what you love without worrying about money is easier said than done, but your calling in life isn’t going anywhere. If you can’t make your passion your number one focus right now, make it your side hustle until you can make the leap. Plus, the most beautiful and meaningful works generally come from those who have had to fight. Those stories need to be told because people need to hear them. So, just create.

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