“Do, or do not. There is no ‘try.'” — Jedi Master Yoda
Yoda was full of it.
There are plenty of times when the only thing we can do is try, even knowing we are probably going to look ridiculous, fall flat on our faces, and get something on our clothes that won’t come out in the wash. But the thing we are set on is so important to us that even with all that, we’re bound and determined to try anyway.
Of course, if you look at the context in which Yoda utters those words, Luke is pretty much defeated before he even begins. His shoulders slump and there’s a whine in his voice — the same whine you heard in
the first movie Chapter Four* when he said he wanted to go into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters. Even when he starts, he swears it can’t be done at the first sign of failure.
Luke’s looking at the size of what he’s being asked to do and thinking Yoda’s crazy. It’s ridiculous to think anyone can lift an X-Wing out of a (possibly toxic) bog and set it safely on dry land with just the power of the mind. It’s not rational and nothing any sane person would attempt. He’s not committing to it, and until he commits, he’s not able to feel the Force flowing through him.
That’s what we’re doing right now. We’re committing to this madness of 50,000 words in 30 days even with holidays and family and all the other craziness that goes with it. We’ll make the goal or not, but we’ll do NaNo instead of just thinking about it. And somewhere along the line, we realize Yoda’s not talking about effort but intent.
Annoying when he’s right, isn’t it?
*I don’t care that the scroll now reads “Chapter Four: A New Hope.” It was Star Wars when I first saw it and that’s what I’ll always know it as. Now, get off my lawn, you blasted kids.