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Inspiration Is Overrated · 26 October 2019







Inspiration is fickle and unpredictable and overrated.


I remember many years ago when I thought that I needed to be inspired to write. Whether I was writing poetry or prose, fiction or non-fiction, I felt that I needed to be inspired. Now I realize that feeling the need for inspiration is just be an excuse for not writing.


I have come to these conclusions about inspiration after many years of writing just to write. Oh sure, I have a body of work that I am proud of. Mostly. But if I was going to be proud of anything, I would be proud of myself for just being in the habit of writing. Every day. Whether I was inspired or not. Which is what being a writer is all about.


I know that I am no best-selling author. I know that I just have a few friends and fans out there who read my writing. But if I was going to tell any would-be writers anything, I would tell them what every author has ever told any aspiring authors to do. And that is to just write. Every day. Period.


Again. I am no expert, but I do know that the habit of writing is what makes a person a writer. Not the number of fans a person has or the number of books a person has sold. Not even the number of books a person has published. What makes a writer a writer is just the act of writing. That is it. Writers write. So if you want to be a writer, just write.


I know that what I am saying seems pretty obvious. If you want to get good at anything, you just need to do that anything. A lot. Just keep doing and doing and doing and hopefully you will get better and better and better. In my case, I keep working and working and working to get to mediocre. But I am sure I will get there. After all, mediocrity might seem a low bar for some, but as one of my friends likes to point out, striving for mediocrity has been and probably always will be a stretch for me.


But back to my original thought. Inspiration.


Inspiration is certainly fickle. It comes and goes without any rhyme or reason. It is here today, gone tomorrow. It is certainly unpredictable. Nobody knows when it will show up. Mostly. In my case, inspiration almost always comes with grief and sadness. I even wrote a poem about that once. So knowing that about my inspiration, I know that if I only wrote when I was inspired, I would probably only write when I was sad or at other times when that unpredictable lightning bolt of inspiration struck. And I would have just a few pages of writing to show for it.


The worst part about inspiration though is that it is overrated. People seem to think that writers and poets and song writers and artists in general must be gifted with inspiration. They must have a corner on the market so to speak. But that is not the case. Successful artists, regardless of their medium (or even media) are just those who keep on doing what they are doing. They just keep swimming. They just keep drawing. They just keep painting. They just keep composing. They just keep singing. They just keep writing. And sometimes, what they do seems inspired. And maybe it is. But usually, it just seems that way. In reality, those people are disciplined. They just keep on keeping on.


Which just goes to show that it is difficult to inspire people. After all, there are only so many ways can you say, “Just get better at what you are doing by doing what you are doing over and over and over again.” Which is not very inspirational at all. But it does tell the truth about getting better at everything.


So if you want to get good at writing (or anything for that matter), work hard and make adjustments as you go. Do not rely on inspiration, just keep writing. And some days you will write something that is truly inspired. Remember, inspiration is fickle and unpredictable. But mostly, inspiration is overrated.

© 2019 Michael T. Miyoshi

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A Magic Penny · 19 October 2019



Coin of Æthelred the Unready
by Arichis
(Alterations: size and transparency changed)
Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0


There is something besides a sincere compliment that we can give away each day. Love.


I remember singing the song Magic Penny when I was a kid. Or maybe I just remember hearing the young kids sing it in Sunday school when I was a teenager. At any rate, that song is still true today. Love is something if you give it away.


If you have never heard the song (and since it is stuck in my head), here are the words:

Love is something if you give it away
Give it away, give it away.
Love is something if you give it away
You end up having more.

It’s just like a magic penny
Hold it tight and you won’t have any
Lend it spend it and you’ll have so many
They’ll roll all over the floor.



Coin of Æthelred the Unready
by Arichis
(Alterations: size and transparency changed)
Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0


The song can go on and on and on again. In fact, it might be just like a magic penny too. Sing it once and you’ll sing it again. Unless you can give it away. Ah, but that is another story.


But seriously, you can give love away. At least if you have love in your heart. And if your source of love is from heaven, you can give away so much more. (Remember, I said I heard the song in Sunday school.) Still, regardless of the Biblical lecture that could ensue, you really can give love away. After all, you can love people, when you know you are loved.

So show them you love them
Show them you care
Show them you miss them
When they’re not there.

I have love in my heart. And it is like a magic penny. So I will keep giving it away. Every single day.

© 2019 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Give It Away · 12 October 2019



We should all give something away every single day.


I think we should all give something away every single day. No. I am not talking about material possessions, even though that might be good too. Getting rid of clutter is always a good thing to do. (Says the man with too much clutter.) But like I said, I am not talking about giving away material possessions. I am talking about something we can all give away each and every day. And it does not cost anything.


I am sure there are skeptics out there, but I know of at least one thing that we can all give away each day. And you do not even need to get anything back in order to give the same thing away the next day. We can all give a compliment to somebody. Every single day.


I know. I know. It sounds corny. It sounds Pollyannaish. And it is. But the truth of the matter is that a compliment does not cost anything, and it means so much to the person receiving it. Besides, it is truly more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35) Even if the other person gives a “Bah humbug,” in return.


I have been thinking about the act of giving compliments because the people on our staff are passing around a compliments book at our school. We are giving compliments to our co-workers. Just because. Yes, it is nice to read what others think of you. But it is so much more fun to give compliments to others. And much less embarrassing for those of us who do not really like to get compliments. (Okay. Everybody likes to get compliments. Even if it is embarrassing to get them.)


Of course, you must be sincere when giving a compliment. And there might be a cost associated with that sincerity. After all, there are probably people who you find it hard to compliment. (I do.) But if you look. If you really look, you can find something to compliment in anybody. And who knows, you might even find more to compliment when you look closely. You might go from a cursory glance to find a shallow compliment to looking deeper to find something truly amazing about a person. And it is always a bonus to find out anything about somebody. Especially, something unexpected and wonderful.


Besides finding out wonderful and amazing things about others, giving out genuine compliments does something for the giver. Not that the giver needs anything in return, but giving compliments makes the giver of compliments truly appreciative of others. Which makes that person feel good inside.


It truly is more blessed to give than to receive. And the giving of compliments can certainly be a blessed thing. Which is why I say that we all should give something away every day. And that something should be a sincere compliment.

© 2019 Michael T. Miyoshi

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