People Actually Read My Blog · 10 April 2021

It is strange to think that people actually read my blog.

I know it is a strange thought that a writer would think it strange that people actually read his stuff, but I do. Of course, I love to hear that people might be reading anything that I write. It is just that it is a surprise to learn that somebody might have read something I wrote. Or even that somebody knows that I write.

I thought of this the other day when one of my friends and co-workers said something about my MediocreMan blog. It was surely in context, but it kinda came out of the blue. Okay, not completely. He asked if I was going to retire on my income from my blog. Actually, that is a complete fabrication. He just wondered if MediocreMan was going to be what I do when I retire from my day job.

Now, I am used to my friends M&M reading my stuff to have ammunition to tease me with, but Seth is not like that. I know that everybody in my building knows that I write. After all, I have shared a couple pieces that I wrote about them with them. I usually send the text of my blog in an email. I also give them a link to my blog. Naturally. It is not that I am trying to promote my avocation at my vocation. I just want them to know that I shared my thoughts with the world and not just with them. Especially, when I am telling the world how proud I am to work with our staff.

Okay. I know that I am not really telling the world. But the few readers I do have (both real and imaginary) mean the world to me.

(By the way, if you have not been reading my blog for very long, you might not recognize the running gag. I have talked about real and imaginary readers since almost the beginning of my blog. So when I mention readers, I keep the running gag going. I suppose that is because I like running gags. Even if they are just inside jokes. Even if they are not so funny. I suppose I continue to do them because they tickle me. Even if everybody else just rolls their eyes when I do them. But that is another story. (Which is also a running gag.))

Now where was I? Oh yeah.

I love to hear that people read my blog. Even if they might just be reading it to see that they were mentioned. Or because they want ammunition to tease me with. Or even just to see if I can write. I was actually humbled and embarrassed that Seth mentioned my blog even though we were the only ones there. While we all like to be thanked and praised, it is still embarrassing. (By the way, is it humble to say you were humbled? Or is it just a ruse? I really do not know.)

At any rate. To make a short story a little longer, I was happy and surprised and amazed that Seth mentioned MediocreMan by name. I have not asked him if he has only read the things I have sent him because it does not really matter. I am just glad he liked the things that he has read. (Yes, it is an assumption that he read my blog. But one I will make in this case.)

When all is said and done, I really do marvel that people read my blog. I appreciate it. Still, I think it strange. And I suppose it really is strange that I think it strange that people read my writing.

© 2021 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Routine: My Favorite Fuel for Writing · 3 April 2021

My favorite fuel for writing is routine.

My morning routine includes a quick jaunt on Twitter. There waiting for me nearly every day is the #SixWordStory prompt. I relish the chance to write a six word story. To follow the prompt and think of six or less words for a story. (I sometimes break the rules and go with seven, but that is a different story.) The other day, I had to reply to another prompt besides the #SixWordStory.

The prompt was not really a prompt. It was a question from a writer. The question was: “What is your favorite fuel for writing?”

I am sure that the writer was looking for people to reply with different foods that they eat to get ready for writing. Peanuts, popcorn, hearty breakfast, delicious lunch, seven-course dinner. Something along those lines. But for me, writing has nothing to do with food or inspiration. So like normal, I interpreted the prompt in my own way.

Routine truly is my fuel for writing. It does not matter whether I eat anything before I write. It just matters that writing is part of my daily routine. Sometimes I have breakfast before writing. Sometimes I have no breakfast at all. But always, writing comes in the morning before the day really gets going.

I have had only a few days since I have been writing six days a week where I did not stick to my routine. Those few days, I wrote somewhere after I had started the day in earnest. Those few days, I did not get much written. Those few days, I realized that my best fuel for writing was routine. So I make sure that I write each morning as a way to start the day.

People think that writing is a mystical art and few there are privy to its secrets. But the secret to getting better at writing, to becoming a real writer (whether anybody reads or not) is just writing. To become a writer, you need to write. And write and write and write. Period. Nothing takes the place of doing what you want to be good at. Just do it. Over and over and over and over and over again. (I have gotten into the habit of doing three, so I thought I would mix things up a bit.)

The saying that practice makes perfect is, of course, a fallacy. Practice has never made perfect. Not unless you can practice perfectly. Which is impossible. But practice does indeed make permanent. One of my younger brother’s coaches told him that long ago. It has stuck with me ever since. Practice makes permanent. Practice make permanent. (Did you think I was going to say, “Practice makes permanent,” a third time?)

Which is where routine comes in. Routine is the perfect food for writing. Because, of course, practice makes permanent.

I did not see any Twitter notifications that anybody liked my reply, so I figure most people thought I was crazy for not thinking of some sort of food as fuel for writing. But I know what works for me. And it works for everybody who wants to be good at anything. Get in a routine and follow that routine and you will get good at it. Or at least it will be permanently ingrained in your being. Truth be told, that is what makes people great at anything. When you keep doing anything for long enough, you will hopefully get better at doing it. Maybe a few people might appreciate you in the process. But it does not really matter. What matters is the doing. And what matters for the doing is routine. Do it every day.

Which brings me back to the beginning and the Twitter prompt. My favorite fuel for writing is routine. Plain and simple routine.

© 2021 Michael T. Miyoshi

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That Still Small Voice · 27 March 2021

That still small voice. I need to listen to it all the time.

I dropped a false floor panel on my finger the other day. I was pushing up the edge from underneath by reaching through an adjacent hole. It was tight and I had to push hard. When it finally released, it popped up, then came crashing down on my middle finger. I know why we have fingernails. That way we can smash those instead of our precious fingers.

I would have avoided the pain and subsequent (almost immediate) blood blister had I listened to that still small voice. “Get the suction cup lifter.” Simple. Direct. Easy to follow. It would have been quicker and I would not have pain every time I hit the I, comma, K, or 8 keys. (Mostly the K and comma keys.) Not that I am in great pain. Just annoying pain. Kinda like the shingles. (Get your vaccine.)

At any rate.

That still small voice is called conscience when we are contemplating doing something wrong. It is called experience when we are doing something we have stupidly done before. It is called the Holy Spirit when we need divine guidance. Actually, I think it is the Holy Spirit in all those cases. At least when that still small voice lines up with God’s holy word.

I know. People think that God only directs our steps on the big stuff. On the spiritual stuff. But on stuff that does not make any difference at all? Okay. Maybe a little difference. At least to the individual. I say sure. The more we walk in the light, the more God will direct our paths. The more we listen to and follow that still small voice, the more we will hear it. Especially, when we are already in conversation with God. Especially, when we are seeking His will for our lives.

I know it sounds crazy, but I believe that God can direct every little step we take. Like that old Bobby Brown song. Every Little Step. The song is surely not on the same subject, but the words ring true.

Every little step I take
You will be there.
Every little step I make
We’ll be together.

Or like the country song, Voices, by Chris Young. The voices in the singer’s head are people who have given him good advice. The people we spend time with will give us wisdom. Whether they are the wise people in the song or even the not so wise people in our lives.

But still. I know that the strongest voice, the quietest voice, the stillest voice is God’s voice. Elijah experienced it firsthand. God was not in the wind, earthquake, or fire. He was in the gentle whisper. (1 Kings 19:11-13) God was in the still small voice. And just as He was then, He is now. God speaks to us in the still small voice.

I do not need signs or wonders. Jesus said that a wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign. (Matthew 12:39 and other places) I just need to know that I am walking beside my Lord and that He will guide me in even the smallest things. Things like getting the appropriate tool for the job at hand. It might sound silly, but God is even there to give that simple guidance.

I might be crazy thinking that I would not have a hurt finger and funky blister under my fingernail if I had just listened to the Holy Spirit. Perhaps that still small voice was just intuition or experience. Or maybe God really does care about taking care of our every need. Even preventing owies. From my perspective, I keep getting reminded to listen to the Holy Spirit. That still small voice.

So I try to listen to the still small voice. Even in the little things.

© 2021 Michael T. Miyoshi

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