If You Want It To Happen, Make It Happen

The Chariot is about using willpower to drive yourself forward.


Calling from his “Ted Kaczynski cabin” in Portland, Chuck Klosterman began his interview with Isaac Chotiner like this:

“Well usually I get out here…at about 11:30 and work out here until 5:00. That’s five days a week. That’s all the time I have to write right now…I would have thought—I think a lot of people think this—that it’s harder to work when you have these weird structures or obstructions that dictate when you can be creative or whatever, but I have found the complete opposite. I have found, in many ways, that it is actually better…I like to be a slave. I am well made for enslaving myself.”

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Big night for teenage-angst Ben. He finally met his literary hero – Chuck Klosterman.

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That comment reminded me of similar one from Todd Henry’s book, The Accidental Creative:

“Though it’s counterintuitive, the solution to feeling overwhelmed or crunched for time is often not to remove something from your life, but to add something that raises your level of effectiveness in those activities you’re already doing.”

In my experience, the excuse “I don’t have enough time,” is just another way to say “I don’t want to,” without being so blunt or honest with yourself. I know because I’ve made that excuse hundreds of times…like this past weekend.

I’d been procrastinating on this writing project—my forthcoming improv book about the Harold. I’m getting close, but this latest draft needs a complete structural overhaul. I had some rough ideas. Nothing concrete. And so rather than sit down and make it happen, I kept putting it off until “I had more time to really think it through.” I waited a week. Two weeks. A month.

Of course, that time I was waiting for never came.

What did come was this Instagram story from my friend Caroline Zook.

It seems so obvious now, but it’s easy to forget (as Caroline says):

“It won’t get done unless it gets done.”

make it happen

So I stopped waiting for some magic expanse of time that didn’t exist.

I made a plan to go to the coffee shop on Saturday for four hours and just write. I created that time. I jammed it between other things. It was limited, and therefore, precious. And at the end of that four hours, I’d nearly finished, all because I chose to make it happen.

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