From Avocation to Vocation · 15 June 2019

Most of us have hobbies. We dabble in this or that. Art, music, poetry, writing. Some of us even hope to someday that those avocations turn into vocations. But it does not really matter in the end. We do our hobbies, because we love them. Whether or not we ever get paid.

I remember when I first started thinking I would like to write a bestseller. I was young and naïve. And undisciplined. I would just write when I thought about it. Or as I put it: when I was inspired. That worked out for poetry. Or so it seemed. I could write a poem when I was inspired. Or when there was some occasion to do so. Just like I could write a short piece of prose for the same reasons. Inspiration and occasion were great for my writing.

Or so it seemed.

As I look back, I find that I was not really that interested in being a writer when I was just writing when inspiration struck or when the occasion called for it. I was not really using a precious gift I had been given by my Creator. And my actions showed that I did not really want to write that bestseller.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that dreams are wonderful, but they must have discipline and work to make them come true. We can wish upon a star, but unless we decide that we will work in a disciplined way to make that dream come true, our wishes fall on deaf ears. And those ears are really our own. After all, neither stars nor genies in bottles make our wishes come true.

Speaking of a genie in a bottle. It is interesting that the original genie granting wishes actually took stuff from other people to make the dreams come true. Which in a way is what happens in real life too. You cannot get something for nothing. At the very least, you need to give up time to make your dreams come true. If you really want to be a writer, you need to work at being a writer. Every day.

I love those T-shirts with sayings on them that talk about working.

Every doggone day.
The competition does not take a day off.

Sayings like those are supposed to inspire athletes to do their best every day. Hard work in the gym pays off on the gridiron or the court or the field or the track. You may or may not win championships with those attitudes, but you will place yourself in the best position to do so. Which is what hard work is all about. Putting yourself in position to be the best.

Even at the keyboard. Even if I am just trying to get up to mediocre.

I may never change my hobby, into a career. But I will still work at it every doggone day. Well, at least six days a week. Sure. I will still be struck by inspiration on occasion or write something for a special occasion, but those lightning strikes will be the exceptions rather than the rule. And regardless of whether I ever get paid a cent to write, I will keep doing it because I love it. After all, writing is more than a hobby to me. It is like food for my soul. Which is why I will keep writing even if my avocation never becomes my vocation.

© 2019 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Congratulations Thing 3 and 2019 Graduates · 8 June 2019

It is graduation time again. I cannot help but be a proud parent. Congratulations Thing 3!

It is funny. I have written many times about how I hate the end of the school year. How I do not like saying goodbye. Ever. This year though. I am excited. Not to say goodbye, but excited that our youngest son is getting ready to set off on a new adventure. He is leaving the nest, and going off to college in the fall.

My kids do not really like me posting much about them, but I cannot help but be a proud parent this graduation season. After all, my youngest, Thing 3, is graduating from high school. He is done with 13 years of school. Fourteen, if you count pre-school. Yes, it is just the beginning. But it is an important milestone. A milestone that all three of our children have passed. (Pun intended.)

I am proud of my three sons. Thing 1, Thing 2, and Thing 3 are amazing young men. They are handsome and intelligent and amazing. (I might have already said the last one, but they are pretty amazing.) Yes, I am biased. But to tell you the truth, I would be proud of them even if they were not so handsome. Or so intelligent. Or so amazing. I would be proud of them just because they are who they are. They are my sons, and I am well pleased with them.

Despite my excitement this graduation season, I still have mixed emotions about graduation. I am sad that I must say goodbye to my students. And I am sad to see my own graduate leave the nest (even though it will not be for a while). But I am excited for them all. They are on to bigger and better things. And I am hopeful that the things I said and the things I did had at least a little positive impact on them. Yes, I have mixed emotions about graduation, but the positive ones far outweigh any negative or melancholy ones. Saying congratulations is much better than saying goodbye.

The thing about sending your own kids off to school as opposed to sending off other people’s kids is that you get to see your own kids again. Goodbye is not so final. Oh sure, my students come back to visit me. Some are even friends with me on Facebook or follow me on other social media. But that is not quite the same as seeing your own kids even after they are grown up. It is one thing to see other kids pass certain milestones. It is quite another to watch your own kids do so.

My youngest kid is graduating! I am excited. I am proud. I am anxiously watching as he moves into the next phase of his life. Not quite independent, but getting there. And even if you took away all his accomplishments and accolades, I would still be proud of him. After all he is my son.

It is graduation time again. Congratulations to all the graduating seniors out there. But congratulations especially to my youngest son. Yes, I am proud of all my sons, but this year, I am especially proud of you. Congratulations!

© 2019 Michael T. Miyoshi

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How Many Twitter Followers? · 1 June 2019

How many Twitter followers do you have? Does it really matter?

We can all get validation of what we do from our friends and family, but it is nice when a peer says nice things about you. Or follows you on social media. I even commented on this in at least one previous post (see Liking Other Writers). But there is a danger in getting too caught up in who follows who or how many followers you have.

I have been writing for a long time. I have published my blog since 2007. And I was writing stuff long before that. (Even though I was only a wannabe writer until I started writing every day.) But if you look at my social media stats, I am not well followed.

Actually, I know I am not well followed without looking at my stats. I can count on one hand the number of people who I know read my blog every week. Two. (Two people, not two hands.) Oh sure, there are others who read my stuff besides my two friends, M&M, but I am not sure who those other people are. (If you know, you could tell me, but I would still probably say that my only two readers are M&M. It is another one of my silly writing devices. And if you do not know who M&M are, see Back to Haunt Me and I have Proof and a bunch of other posts mentioning Marc and Mike. Or Mike and Marc.) Actually, I do know a few more readers. Another one of my co-workers said she likes to read my stuff, and I might have a family member or two who read every once in a while. Still…

Oh. I do know one other thing. I hit triple digits in Twitter followers the other day!

Triple digits. One-hundred followers! Woo hoo! And then it was ninety-eight. Boo hoo. And then it was 102! Woo hoo! And then it was 99. Boo hoo. Last time I checked, it was back up to 102 again. Woo hoo!

It is a good thing that I do not put much stock in those follower numbers. Yes. I do wish that those numbers were higher. Yes. Four digits is more than three digits. Yes. Five digits is even more. Probably more than I could ever hope for. But still. Even if I had that many followers, I would not say that I am more successful. I would not say I am a better writer. (My friends M&M would surely help keep me humble if I did say that.) I would just acknowledge that I have more followers on social media than I do now.

At any rate, I do enjoy seeing the number of followers go up. (Thank you all for that.) And one day I hope to have quadruple digits. But for now, I am just glad to see that I am in triple digits. Double digits. Triple digits.

When it comes right down to it, I do not care that much how many Twitter followers I actually have. Because in the end, it does not really matter. (But I still have triple digit followers.)

© 2019 Michael T. Miyoshi

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