Monday, October 21, 2013

Too much, Too Little

I’ve recently read an article about James Franco, which posed the question, “What, Exactly, Is James Franco Doing?” In the article, it talks about his many works in the arts, such as acting, teaching classes, he’s in a band, writes short stories, but because of all his ambitious endeavors, it has left him with a “lack of definition.” He’s done so much, that you wonder just exactly who he is and what he is doing.

I like James Franco. This article made me think about him and his achievements, yet I never really thought about ‘lack of definition’. His movies range from blockbusters to artsy, independent films. He reaches to great lengths to stretch out and embrace his likes. But really, who is James Franco? What mold does he fit into? Would we be surprised with anything else he attempts to do? For me, I’d have to say I wouldn’t be amazed. James Franco hasn’t defined himself as an actor, band member, writer, teacher, so I somewhat lost interest in his continued new attempts in the arts.

Too much, too little. It made me think about writers and genres. If a writer spreads s/he wings and ventures out into several writing styles, do they lack definition? Will readers find it difficult to connect with the author, therefore discouraging interest in their writings?

In some cases, spreading yourself too thin can cause an over-the-top reaction—an undefined overachiever. With writers, I think attempting new styles of writing, such as screenwriting, poetry, and short stories, only enhances their achievements and makes us wonder about other possibilities. It’s a great thing for a writer to move outside their comfort zone and try new genres. Sometimes writing within one genre style can become one-dimensional. Then again, some writers want to be genre-defined. I think other styles of writing help spark the muse, and bring the writer to new levels. A writer showing diversity demonstrates to readers that they are not afraid to experiment, and experiment alone heightens interest because of the unknown—shifting away from the cliché and mundane writing styles of so many.

What do you think? Is too much, too little for writers, or does diversity spark more interest?

Too much and Definition,