I could see his brain rewiring in real time: He no longer believed that his clients hired him because he was always available. He was starting to see that it was safe to wait a bit before responding. It was even safe, in some cases, to not respond to emails at all.
A dream of leisure
These “how I write” pieces, for example, have almost nothing to do with being a writer, and the reasons they’re shared have very little to do with being a writer. They’re actually about the dream of being freed from economic anxiety and the wheel of capitalism, and from the various demands on us from our families and loved ones. They’re a dream of “being just a writer,” which is less a dream about writing than a dream about leisure.
I think part of finding happiness is wading through the mystique we’ve swathed something we want in and uncovering what it is we truly want at the core, then accepting that want, whether it’s what we expected or not. Sparks is onto something, that many like the idea of having written, or dream of the mellow, artistic lifestyle of an idealized writer’s life, but the writing itself may be superfluous. Sometimes you think you want something, then realize you were mythologizing your conception of it, believing it would fulfill some other need — but figuring out that need itself is more useful than imagining what-ifs.