Tortured writers

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, similarly, whenever he wrote a successful novel, would feel that the financial security he had gained made the act of creation unnecessary. He would take his entire savings to the casino and would not leave until he had gambled away his last penny. Once reduced to poverty he could write again.

Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power


I wonder if this has more to do with having your back pushed to the wall, or the fact that writers need some form of angst and turmoil in order to produce a brilliant piece of work.

I do a bit of fiction writing on the side as well, and I find it far more difficult to write when I am lacking that element of emotional struggle.