We are all familiar with the notion of the depressed writer, the scribe who is a tortured, tormented soul. Sadly enough, many of my favorite writers committed suicide -- Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf, Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
Eat Pray Love author Elizabeth Gilbert (yes, I've been on an Elizabeth Gilbert kick lately) is not OK with this notion that creativity and suffering are inherently linked or the assumption that artistry ultimately leads to anguish. She addresses this in a TEDTalk she gave a few years ago.
Perhaps some of this comes from the fact that everyone around us insinuates that our art is something we should fear -- that we should be afraid of failure, rejection, and writer's block and that even after we find success we should be afraid of never being able to top our big accomplishment.
But as Gilbert asks in her talk, "Is it rational, is it logical that anybody should be expected to be afraid of the work that they feel they were put on this earth to do?"
In her presentation Gilbert offers a new way to think about creativity and this is certainly a talk all writers and artists need to hear.