Life without writing, or Death because of writing?

Considering becoming a writer? lists writers in the category of one of the top 10 “careers” most prone to depression:

“These jobs can bring irregular paychecks, uncertain hours, and isolation.

Creative people may also have higher rates of mood disorders; about 9% reported an episode of major depression in the previous year.

In men, it’s the job category most likely to be associated with an episode of major depression (nearly 7% in full-time workers).

“One thing I see a lot in entertainers and artists is bipolar illness,” says Legge. “There could be undiagnosed or untreated mood disorders in people who are artistic…. Depression is not uncommon to those who are drawn to work in the arts, and then the lifestyle contributes to it.””

Rainer Maria Rilke suggested:

“No one can advise or help you — no one. There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.”

One must ask what is more painful: living without writing, or knowing that one may die because of writing?

If you are one of those true writers for whom writing is not a choice, you are perhaps in a much better position from one who sets out to write on the premise of building a career. The stress comes from seeking publication and / or income from writing.

When a career is your primary consideration in becoming a writer, you can extend your chances of living to a ripe old age by adopting a pet.


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