It’s taken me a couple decades to learn this lesson, but pace is important.
I can bike a lot further if I find a good pace. Go too fast too soon and I’ll burn out really quickly. Go too slow and my progress will be piddly enough that I’ll quit out of boredom. Find a good pace that’s still pushing me a little bit while also not burning me out, and I’m good.
Life and creativity is like that – they have a pace that allows for pushing (getting better) while also not burning out. But it’s not the same pace for everything.
Sunday night, Tim and I recorded a new episode of Free Range Idiocy recapping The Mandalorian – or, as my wife insists on calling it, The Baby Yoda Show. In re-watching some episodes that afternoon, I was struck by how obvious a part pacing plays in the story, characters, and the overall aesthetic of the show. Rather being hidden, the brushstrokes were right there on display.
This is where I shill for an interesting point we make in the podcast (but still listen because there’ll be plenty of laughs and other embarrassing moments for me) that Solo flopping was probably the best thing that could’ve happened for this project instead of the cancelled Boba Fett movie. For a saga that takes place in a galaxy far, far away over the span of multiple worlds, they sure suck at world building outside of wherever a Skywalker happens to be at any given moment. That’s probably because it’s hard to do that when you’re trying to fit under 120 minutes of runtime.
The Mandalorian takes its time both in playing out the individual stories and revealing aspects of the characters. There’s so many character moments and characters themselves who would’ve been edited out of the script or wound up on the cutting room floor had this been a movie. At the end of eight episodes, Jon Favreau and his crew have pulled off a rare feat – I feel like I know this character and have seen his emotional arc in spite of part of his schtick being that he always wears a mask. That only happens by taking your time.
In my own life, I’ve been paying more attention to pace and how I treat my days. Enjoying little moments and not letting self care get tossed overboard in the name of getting one more task done earlier. My priorities have been changing. For instance, there was no blog post yesterday because I had to start work earlier – but the priority wasn’t work, it was making sure I got to lunch with a friend.
Not a bad trade off, huh? I have spoken.