Friday, November 2, 2012

Make It Happen ~ Life Lessons from Yoda

Do. Or do not. There is no try. - Yoda

In case you missed the news this week, Disney now owns Lucasfilm, which I suppose makes Leia an acceptable nomination for the next Disney princess. Whether or not you are a maniacal Star Wars fan, elements of the movie have made their way into your life as they seeped into our culture over the last forty years.

The above quote from Yoda is one of those things.

I've heard it, I've used it, and I'm guessing you probably have to. If you haven't, then you've at least seen Nike's version at some time in your life, Just Do It.

The mentality behind both of those famous statements is that "trying" makes failure an acceptable option. By saying "I'll try" you are saying that part of you thinks you won't actually succeed. Yoda and Nike both think that's a recipe for failure.

Think of something you've always wanted to do. How many times have you started? How many times have you quit?

I've been thinking about this a lot this week as many friends of mine gear up for NaNoWriMo.

If you've ever wanted to be a writer but aren't sure if you have it in you, I encourage you to tackle NaNoWriMo. You're only a day or two behind right now, so there's no excuse not to jump in. The idea is that you write a 50,000+ word novel in a month.

It's doable. That is what got me started writing (though I did it in June, not November, but still). Because if you nail your butt to the chair and hammer out 50,000 words, you can look at it and say, "I did it. Now is it any good? Is it something I want to pursue?"

If you never get those 50,000 words down? Well, you don't have the option of moving forward.

(One note here, if you do hammer out a novel this month, DO NOT assume it's ready to go come December. The only way you can throw down 50,000+ words in a month is if you ignore editing and rewriting entirely. Please don't assume a publish-ready book will spill from your fingers in 30 days unless your name is Nora Roberts. I think she spits books out in her sleep.)

I'm not in a position to write a new novel this month, but I have other things I want to do. So I'm making November Anti-Procrastination month for me. I have friends doing NaNoWriMo, so I intend to utilize and join in the encouragement but with some slightly adjusted goals.

Won't you join me? Throw try out the window and let's get it done. Where do you want to be on December 1. Break it into mini-goals - one for every day of the month of November. Not do them. No try, no maybe, no we'll see.

I think it's time we all take advice from a small, wrinkly green muppet in swoosh decorated sneakers. Let's do it.

This month I'm getting back into my favorite jeans and finishing some book proposal submittals that have been sitting on my desk for a while. What are you going to tackle this month?


  1. Very cool post. This inspires me to pick a few projects (like my incredibly messy project area in my lower level) to complete. I have two quilts to make, a scrapbook for 2012 to begin/finish for a Christmas present. I am not doing nanowrimo either, although it did get me started in 2010 (M4M). Paint the kitchen (after removing wallpaper border!) And write oh say 10,000 words on R4R. Blessings, Susan

  2. Wow. That's a lot. You're going to have a busy November, Susan! Go get 'em!