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Sophie Lucido Johnson

One of four monsters is getting in your way. Here’s how to defeat it!

illustration by the author.

An old friend of mine recently messaged me out of the blue with a question I get from time to time from all kinds of interesting people: What advice do you have about writing more?

It’s rarely a question about writing better; it’s a question of production. How do you begin to move? Once you are moving, how do you stay in motion? And how do you do both of those things when you’re throat-deep in ten trillion other things?

First of all, I should say that when it comes to writing, I am a bit of a freak. I…

People with high self-esteem self-reflect, apologize, and are constantly growing into better versions of themselves.

All illustrations are by the author.

Let’s be blunt: I have a lot of self-loathing.

Sometimes, when I’m getting enough sleep, eating enough vegetables, feeling safe in my relationships, and listening to a ton of Tara Brach podcasts, I think I have conquered the self-loathing. I think, “How silly I was last week, when I thought I was a fundamentally bad person.” But then something very small will go wrong (I’ll lose my wallet; someone will write a mean review of one of my books; I’ll forget a deadline), and the illusion of my self-evolution will come crashing down. Before I know it, I’m back in…

This simple act of kindness for kindness’ sake can make a big impact.

On May 1, 2014 — which is now fully SEVEN YEARS PLUS in the past — I promised on my blog that, “One of these days I will write a thing about writing letters.” I wrote this because I had spent the whole day writing letters that day, and I didn’t want to have to blog on top of that, but I had assured my three readers that I would blog every single day back then.

Well, Past Sophie, I’m here to make good on your promise. I still write letters in much the same way, although there are different…

Emerging from the pandemic provides an opportunity to work on your people-pleasing tendencies.

All illustrations are by the author.

Welcome to post-pandemic life! Welcome back to dining at restaurants with cloth napkins; watching movies in huge, dark theaters; chatting with your friends at living room parties; and dancing to your favorite band at a concert. There’s a lot to celebrate, huh?

But while I’m at it, I might as well also welcome you back to worrying about whether your dinner date thinks this place is too expensive; worrying about the fact that you chose this movie and there’s a super-violent scene you weren’t anticipating, and your best friend is violence-averse, and you’re not sure if she can handle it…

Weight gain isn’t among the most important factors for a healthy pregnancy. So why do we talk about it so much?

Illustration by the author.

As I write this, I am 21 weeks pregnant. Everything I assumed would be true about pregnancy has been wrong — and if you want to read more about how epically wrong I was, I put up this much longer blog post detailing the minutiae of my breathtaking hubris.

But more than anything, I want to talk about gaining weight while pregnant. I’ve gained 35 pounds while pregnant so far. For a “normal” weight person, it is recommended that a person gain 25 to 35 pounds total during pregnancy, and most of that during the latter half. I’m already over…

Some of us have a problem.

Image by the author.

A long time ago, I stopped being seduced by brand new notebooks. People who write make all kinds of financially irresponsible notebook decisions, so this is a pretty big feat.

You know what I’m talking about, right? You’re at the bookstore you Yelped while on a three-day vacation (it’s so quirky how you always manage to find a bookstore wherever you go), and you’re thinking, “Man. I already have all the books I need. A holiday or my birthday recently passed. Five people I admire gifted me books. Plus I have that best-of-list-topping-novel I FINALLY got on hold from the…

I know all the secrets, and I am ready to share.

Hello, my name is Sophie, and I am truly incredible at finding four-leaf clovers.

Here is some proof:

It’s been a rough year. Infuse your calendar with things you can look forward to.

All illustrations and photos by Sophie Lucido Johnson.

My favorite book is a children’s book by Byrd Baylor called I’m in Charge of Celebrations. It is a perfect book, and if you don’t have it or haven’t read it, please do yourself a favor and buy a copy right now. It makes a great present for any adult and for most children, so you won’t regret the purchase, and it’s only available in paperback, so it’s cheaper than a burrito.

The premise of the book is that the narrator lives in the desert, and she doesn’t celebrate regular holidays. Instead, she gets to choose her own holidays, and…

This Is Us

It can take a long time to decide you are ready to get the help you need

I have a new therapist.

I liked her the first day because she was kind and a little bit older and not a totally silent human being, which is something I look for in a therapist (and is not a given). The second session we got into a small fight, and the third one was fine but imperfect, so the jury is out. In general, it takes me about six sessions with a therapist to warm to them, to click into the thing they have to teach me.

I’ve had a lot of therapists, and some aren’t even memorable. My…

Each and every one of these things gets five out of five stars.

A month ago, I wrote 50 how-to mini-essays, and I thought it was fun! So for April, I figured it might be worth reprising the topic, and writing 50 mini reviews, all of things I would give five out of five stars.

Maybe there’s something on this list you’ve never tried that will make your life just a tiny bit better! I do believe that people living lives full of pleasure and joy are people who have more capacity to do the really important work in the world without getting burnt out. If you feeling your ends getting a little…

Sophie Lucido Johnson

A person who writes and draws and eats her feelings.

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