I agree — there are surveys that look at depression and suicide rates by profession. Doctors and bus drivers are at the top of the list. Interestingly, the performing arts are at far closer to the bottom of the list. Interesting reads here and here and here.
Seth Godin had an interesting post today — jist of it was that as far as DNA goes, we’re not much different than cave-men. The reason we don’t act like cavemen (some of us, anyway) is because of cultural effect.
To that end, I think the concept of the tragic artist is a societal trope. For every tragic artist, there’s a tragic doctor, a tragic accountant and a happy creative.
Artists create from a place of experience. Some people are inspired to create because of sad and tragic experiences. Others are inspired by the nature around them, the gaze of a wild animal, a beautiful summer sky, a walk in the forest, or any one of many of the experiences life offers.
Going to check out your book now! :)