You’re Not Ready

It’s something you might hear all the time, or it could be something that you say to people yourself, but You’re not ready is the bane of many a person’s life. After all, how can you possibly be  certain if you’re up to something if you’re encouraged not to try?

As a teen writer, not feeling ready is a part of my everyday life. How can I write about love when I haven’t experienced it? Death, when it’s such a far-away concept? Mental illness, getting a new job, having a cat, talking to adults as an equal… I could go on forever listing things I haven’t done or experienced or learnt enough about yet. They tell you to write what you know, but I’m a coddled sixteen-year-old introvert whose only experience of life comes through books. What could I possibly know that would come across well to more learned, experienced people?

That’s what goes through my brain a lot of the time. It’s what has been going through my brain today, as I realise that I’m writing a psychiatric hospital when I have three instances to draw on and they’re all books. I feel like I need to research. I feel like I should wait until I’m ready, until I have the necessary tools, knowledge, and maturity to portray the place the way it deserves to be portrayed — and in a way that won’t offend people. But if I waited for that… isn’t it possible that I would have to wait forever?

Which brings me back to that sentence near the top that has no reason to be there, cluttering this post up and confusing it’s way of thinking and it’s flow.

How can you be certain that you’re not ready if you don’t try?

I wasn’t ready to write this post; it came to me as a flash of a thought and I didn’t give that thought a chance to become orderly, as is probably clear from the above.

But I wrote it anyway.

I might be an inexperienced child for whom the most exciting thing is a new email or a visit to a nearby city with friends, but my way of seeing things is individual. It should be cherished, and it shouldn’t be left to rot because I think I need to wait, to be ‘ready’. It’s time to seize the day.

So what if it turns out that I wasn’t ready? If I’m not ready to write that psychiatric hospital, if it turns out shit, under-researched, naive and offensive — so what? That’s what first drafts are supposed to be. I’ll just have to go back when I’m ready — or when I’m not. You never know how a project’s going to turn out.

In short, reader; go do something you don’t feel ready for, and fuck the result.

I dare you.


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