She is an avid adventurer, having traveled to over 20 countries, and self-proclaimed “Boho Mom” who loves all things metaphysical as well poetic quotes.
She is a Sagittarius and an ocean-lover who lives in Northern California with her husband and young son, and a homestead full of animals. In her spare time she’s often hiking, doing yoga, gardening, golfing or reading.
Bachelor’s of Arts in Journalism Communications, Master’s of Arts in Psychology. California State Licensed Psychotherapist.
Connect with her at http://www.MichaelaRenee.com
On Instagram @UsJohnsons
Describe yourself in five words
Authentic, Inspiring, Adventurer, Boho Mom, Wordsmither
What fact about yourself would really surprise people?
I have sung the national anthem at major sporting events on five different occasions.
How do you work through self-doubts and fear?
I recognize that self doubt and fear is a motivator for pushing through uncomfortability. Without it we would self limit our growth. I talk to self doubt like it’s a friend, ask why it’s there and explore ways to push through it.
What scares you the most?
I mean, the obvious horror movie things like drowning in a car, but also not living life to the fullest.
What makes you happiest?
Making memories makes me the happiest.
Why do you write?
It’s probably different each time I pick up the pen, at the end of the day I could summarize it to inspire myself or others.
Have you always enjoyed writing?
My first “journal” was in the third grade, so I’d say so.
What motivates you to write?
Anything that pisses me off. It doesn’t take much, but if I feel flabbergasted by something you can bet I’m going to sit down and hammer it out with the pen.
What writing are you most proud of?
That’s hard to say…I feel mixed emotions about my work often. If I had to pick something I would say Teetering on Disaster because it helped me process some of the toughest emotions I’ve had, and I think inspired a lot of people.
What are you most proud of in your personal life?
This is where I feel like, as humans, we have to list all the tangible things we’ve done, marathons, Summitting Mountains, the birth of our children…but for me, I’m most proud of the fact that I am open to other perspectives.
What books did you love growing up?
Let’s start with PD Eastman Are You My Mother, my all-time favorite when I was young…I was a huge Beverly Cleary fan as pre-teen.
What do you hope your obituary will say about you?
Is it sad to say that this is kind of a morbid question I live by? I hope they say she loved photography to a fault, laughed a lot, especially at herself and loved deeply. No one ever wondered what she was thinking or how she felt and she shared herself wholly with those around her.
Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?
I grew up in the rural Sierra Nevada Mountains, where the town shuts down with the sun. Creative writing was definitely inspired by my upbringing as it was something I could do with my spare time, and it was something that was heavily influenced by living a simpler life.
How did you develop your writing?
I have had a lot of great mentors along the way, but I believe just writing from the heart, without worry of what others would think inspired my greatest growth as a writer.
What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?
The publishing world is by far the most difficult to keep up with. It’s sort of like trying to fling a shoe on a moving fan (which I don’t recommend trying).
What marketing works for you?
I have found that my real life connections grow my business the most. It seems word of mouth is still a very powerful tool, whether it’s social media or otherwise.
Do you find it hard to share your work?
I’ve never been one to shy from sharing, I wish there was more transparency in the world in general.
Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you?
My friends and family are incredibly supportive. My family has always been supportive in a very “tough love” type of way. They ground my crazy ideas and never let me forget where I’ve come from.
What else do you do, other than write?
I wear a lot of hats, but primarily, psychotherapist, podcast host
What other jobs have you had in your life?
In my prior life I was a marketing director, in marketing for 12 years.
If you could study any subject at university what would you pick?
If I were to go back I’d probably want to get into marine biology or astronomy.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
I would want to live right where I am…but travel everywhere.
Tell us about your family?
Loving, supportive, challenging and fun.
How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?
Yes, Yes, Yes, all of the above.
How much sleep do you need to be your best?
I’m a solid 8 hours a night, no negotiation. I take my sleep very seriously.
Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge and thank for their support?
All of the people who have guided my journey.
Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?
My husband often jokes about my royalty checks being “bacon bits.” So I guess seeing the financial rewards from making the best sellers list. I say that because it’s easy to get on various best sellers lists these days…but when the royalty checks go from bacon bits to bacon, I guess I’ll know I’ve made it. Other than that, I feel like I’ve already achieved great success, just in inspiring others.
If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask?
I’ve thought about this often…so it changes frequently. Probably Thich Naht Hahn.
When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?
Hiking, reading, sitting on the beach…anything outdoors really.
What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel?
I hope people realize that happiness is a constant reset and is absolutely attainable in spite of life’s setbacks.
Where are you from?
Do you have a specific writing style?
What are obstacles that come in the way of writing?
What’s the most memorable thing asked/said by a reader about your work?
That they laughed and cried at the same time. That’s a good emotion. I feel honored to have inspired that.
What is your work schedule like when you are writing?
I’m always juggling a lot of oranges. I try not to put pressure on myself to stick to a solid schedule, I look at the week, and lay out the days with a general sense of check list items and just work to tick them off.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
How long does it take to write a book? (if you’ve written one -published or non)
Depends on the book, children’s books verses self help verses fiction…anywhere from a week to a year.
Do you have suggestions on how to become a better writer?
Stop judging whether you are writing well enough and just write.
What challenges do you come across when writing/creating your story?
In my newest fiction novel there are 4 main character (so James Patterson style) jumping between their personalities and staying in “character” has been a really fun challenge for me.
What do you think makes a good story?
Any story that encourages you to think about things differently.
What does your family think of your writing?
I think they’ll think a lot more of it if I make the New York Times Best Sellers List.