How to Do 50 Things

From drawing a bird to forgiving your ex

Sophie Lucido Johnson
Forge
Published in
28 min readMar 3, 2021

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Illustrations by the author

A few years ago, I was feeling lost. “Stuck in the weeds” was how I kept referring to my state of existence. A little voice in my head kept telling me, incessantly, “You can’t do anything.” It literally said those words!

One day, I woke up feeling tired of the voice. So I decided to slap back. “Surely I can do some things!” I said out loud. (A word of advice: It’s best to argue with the mean voices in your head in the privacy of your own home.)

I decided to make this a project: I would write about how to do things. Over the past few years, I’ve shared advice on everything from how to substitute eggs and how to do a French braid to how to visit the Chicago Field Museum and how to write Roman numerals. Eventually, I started feeling better. I realized I knew how to do a lot of things! I’d finally gotten unstuck.

Maybe you would also like to get unstuck. So here’s how to do 50 things. Some of these are things I know how to do well. Others I probably have no place offering guidance on. But the project is done. I hope it inspires you to think about what you know how to do. I bet it’s more than you realize.

How to …

1. Name your pets

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Sophie Lucido Johnson
Forge
Writer for

A person who writes and draws and eats her feelings.