GalleyCat reported a few weeks back that a piece in Health magazine listed writers on a list of 10 careers with high rates of depression. The original Health list says, of artists, entertainers and writers:
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.
This is by no means new territory, there’s long been a body of study around the artistic teperment and depression, including Kay Redfield Jamison’s article “Manic Depressive Illness and Creativity” from Scientific American (1997). Knowing these things, that as writers we may be more isolated and face more uncertainty in work and life, are there strategies available to help combat depression? Obviously, depression is a serious condition that requires a physician’s care, but as a preemptive measure, I’m always on the lookout for ways to build community.
Sometimes I find getting out of the house to work with a friend at a coffee shop, or joining a writing group, provides a much-needed dose of perspective, as well as encouragement. What are some ways you have found community or built a writing routine that works?