What defines happiness though? I appreciate its a question as old as mankind itself but I struggle with this notion that writers/creative people have to be tortured souls.
I sometimes think that people play up to the stereotype. Guilty as charged by the way. I loved playing the dipso, undiscovered talent who had to suffer for his art and it took me until my mid 40's to discover what a load of old tosh that was. Along with writing almost nothing at all.
I actually LIKE writing. I get a buzz out of the entire process. That coming up with outlandish plots and interesting characters is the most fun I can have fully clothed. But I actually had to start writing, rather than pontificating about being a writer to appreciate that.
Please don't think I am being flippant about conditions such as depression and so on because I am not, and I wish anybody who suffers from such things nothing other than positive vibes but I do think that some people use this creative itch malarkey as an excuse for being utter twats. Along with taking themselves FAR to seriously. Reading and writing should be fun, when all is said and done. Yes there are parts of it that can be tedious and where we have to push ourselves but ultimately it has to be about us gaining something joyous rather than wallowing in self-pity.
Are there genuine tortured genius out there? Absolutely. And I pity them because it never ends well, for either themselves or anybody around them. But I refuse to accept that people have no choice in that in almost 90% of cases.