On his blog, actor/writer/director Zach Braff talks about how his new movie, The Last Kiss, didn't do as well at the box office as they'd hoped. Reviews from his blog readers were mixed and it seems Zach had read many of them. Pretty impressive considering one post gets upward of 500 comments. The man is all class, let me tell you. He thanked everyone for their support and welcomed all comments, good and bad. He addressed a few of the concerns of people who were disappointed in the movie. This particular passage really resonated with me.
"There were people who said things like; "It's no Garden State...". Well firstly, I didn't write and direct this movie, and secondly; not every film I set out to be a part of is going to take on as much as Garden State aspired to take on. I am so grateful that movie resonated with so many people, but I hope that you will come along with me as I try many different things. The next film I have coming out in the beginning of next year, "Fast Track" is a broad physical comedy with Jason Bateman and Amanda Peet. And the next film I'm thinking about directing, "Open Hearts" is so dark it'll make "The Last Kiss" feel like "Naked Gun". I always want to be trying new things; that's the fun of being creative. I'm sure you all can relate."
*Raising hand.* I can relate! My first solo novel, JINXED, received glowing feedback from reviewers as well as readers. It was even nominated for a Reviewers Choice Award. It was funny and sweet. My next book was funny too, but maybe a little less 'sweet'. My third book contained humor via secondary characters, but the featured hero and heroine were gritty as was their story. My fourth book wasn't even contemporary, but historical western! Though I do believe my 'voice' rang clear and consistent in all these books, none were a carbon copy of the one before. All received 'glowing' feedback from reviewers and mostly readers seemed pleased, but there is always that fear of current works being compared to past. And, fact is, it does happen. As I've stated before, a reader posted a negative comment to Amazon rearding SEDUCED, basically saying, it's no JINXED. Can't argue that. It certainly isn't. And I can't say I'm sorry.
It's human nature to compare. As an artist in any medium, I think you have to accept this as something that comes with the territory. That fear that niggles you when you're working on a new project, the fear that your audience might not like this creation as much as the one before. One must strive to ignore that fear or it will paralyze you. You will forever second guess your work. Artists change and grow and are often driven to try new things. ALL ABOUT EVIE is different for me. The majority of the story is written in first person. Like Zach, I hope that fans of my previous work will come along as I try new things.
After reading Zach's post, for some reason I flashed on someone viewing Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa and saying, "It's no Last Supper." Well, no, it's not. It's something entirely different, but equally as beautiful. But wait. They do have something in common. Something very important. They're inspired creations from the artist's heart. Where there is passion, there is art.