Giving Myself a Pep Talk · 15 August 2020

Rah rah! Shish boom ba! Go me! Go!

I am not much of a rah rah guy. And I rarely give myself pep talks. In fact, if you read the post that gave me this idea (last week), you might have wondered where the pep talk was in all those words. It all seemed so doom and gloom. “Woe is me. Nobody reads my stuff.” I suppose I must explain. That is how I give myself pep talks. Really.

I know. Pep talks are supposed to be: Rah rah! You can do it! Go! Go! Woo hoo! But that is just not me. Oh sure. I can do that for other folks. I can spread a little sunshine their way and give them words of encouragement. And I am sincere when I tell people that they can do it. That they just need to keep on keeping on. Really. I know they can do it.

The thing is that those kinds of pep talks are not what work for me. I would much rather people tell me how bad my writing is or what a poor job I am doing. Really. All that rah rah stuff does me little good. I want people to tell me where I can get better. Mostly.

My friend Marc loves to tell me that I should keep striving to become mediocre. “It will take some time, but you might be able to live up to your self-given moniker.” Or something like that. He might even suggest that TryingToGetUpToMediocreMan might be a better name for me. And he would tell me those things with a straight face. He has told me those things with a straight face. And I love him for it. Really.

(By the way, if you are counting the number of times I use “really” in this blog post, it is a silly endeavor. I rarely use really in real life. Especially in the way I am using it here. I really really really do not like the word really when it comes right down to it. Really. It just seems to be redundant. You either really believe that what you are saying is true or you do not. You do not need to say, “Really.” Or “Honestly.” Really.)

So you might ask me why I like people giving me grief about my writing. Go ahead ask. Okay. Since you asked, I will tell you. I like people giving me grief about my writing because it means that they are reading my writing. Really. I know it seems like not much of an answer, but I like to know that somebody out there is reading. Even if it is just one or two people. Even if it is just a couple of my friends who like to read my stuff just to give me grief. After all, razzing your friends is just another way to show your love. Or at least it can be.

There is another reason I like to get criticism over kudos. It is more helpful. Usually. (Bet you thought I was going to say really.)

There are certainly times when people like your stuff and give you reasons for liking it. That is enjoyable to hear. Just as enjoyable (and much more instructive) is hearing what was missing or what was wrong or how you hit a sour chord. Those are the things that I like to hear. Those are the things I think of when I think of a pep talk. And even if I get a scathing remark from somebody who I do not know (it could happen), I would take it as a challenge to better the next time.

So for those of you who think I might have been having a pity party a week ago, fear not. I hope this explains that I just needed to give myself a pep talk. And for those of you who thought that I was finally sounding the dirge for the end of my writing, sorry. Not gonna happen. I like writing too much. It is like breathing. I need it almost as much as I need air. Really.

If you ever need a pep talk, you probably do not want to read my pep talks to myself. Unless you just want to read the first and last words to this post.

Rah rah! Shish boom ba! Go me! Go!

© 2020 Michael T. Miyoshi

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