When I was 17, I had to make a huge decision about the future of my writing life.
These were my pre-college days, when I was narrowing down my list of potential schools. I knew I wanted to study some form of writing. The options were clear to me: screenwriting or creative writing. They appealed to me equally; I had wanted to be part of the film industry for years, but fiction was (and remains) my first love. After months of debate--and having applied to programs of each persuasion--time was a-wastin', and I had to take every aspect of the schools in question into account.
Ultimately, I went with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program. The fact is, I knew I had to give myself an opportunity to explore as many forms as possible. In college, I studied fiction, of course, but also poetry, non-fiction, and screenwriting; I touched on playwrighting, as well. If I had gone to school for screenwriting, I would have studied nothing but how to write films or television shows.
There are days when I wonder if I chose poorly. But for the most part, I'm confident in my educational history. I feel more well-rounded in my abilities, and thus more equipped to take lessons from the things I read. I've also expanded my horizons as far as my own writing is concerned; before college, I would never have considered poetry as a viable medium, nor would I be blogging about my personal experiences.
It is true, however, that as the Oscars draw ever closer, I do kind of wish I was part of that world. It's mostly because I want to wear a pretty dress and walk the red carpet, though. After all, who doesn't want that?