Writers are more likely than other groups to commit suicide, according to an article in The Atlantic. The study mentioned in the story, says the control group was, of course, accountants. Then all other occupations were compared for rates of suicide and it turns out writers kill themselves at twice the rate of other professions. Everyone can think of a number of great writers who killed themselves, so is that really news? The interesting part is that most studies agree that there is no difference in rates of mental illness between writers and other professions, so what could be the reason for the increased incidence of suicide? I think this article by the Huffington Post unknowing pointed to it. "Perceived failure has long been a motive for suicide. But doesn’t that apply to anyone who is unable to cope with unfulfilled dreams?" Perceived failure. How many times a day is an accountant told he's wrong or a failure? Then compare that number to the frequency with which a writer is told they are not living up to expectations. In most professions conversations go like this: Jim: I added 2 and 2; the result was 4. Bob: Okay, see you again tomorrow. Same conversation among writers would look like this: Jim: I added 2 and 2; the result was 4. Bob: I don't think that's right. I think the answer would be better stated as 4/1 because you were working with conversions yesterday. And I'd really like to see more emotion in your addition. Billy: The emotion was fine, but I don't like 4 at all and 4/1 is even more confusing. You need to restate your answer as 4.00. It must be clear to the reader that it's four and not a bit more. Amy: I think you've really failed at this addition bit, you need to scrap the whole section and focus on subtraction. Bob: I think Amy's on to something. This section about addition just didn't work for me. Since 2 minus 2 is zero that would be a much more compelling equation. I agree, you need to scrap this and start over. How do you cope with constant negative feedback? Do you believe this plays a role in the increased incidence of suicide among writers? Or do you believe it's all just hooey and the studies have got it all wrong?