Dave Chapelle on Creativity and John Green on How To Know What to Do Next


I have so many things to share with YOU that I decided to try out a LIST format again.

I hope you find something here to inspire you!

1.  I was reading John Greene’s new Book: The Anthropocene Reviewed which is interesting, comforting and hilarious in moments.

He wrote about a recent liminal period in his life when he wasn’t sure what to do or create next:

“I re-read the work of my friend named Amy Cross Rosenthal, who had died a few months earlier. And I read this moment where she says,

“Pay attention to what you pay attention to if you want to know what to do with your life.”

John Greene: And I realized that I had not been paying attention to what I was paying attention to. I just, I was kind of letting the information flow happen very passively in my life. And I wasn’t paying that kind of careful sustained attention, that really for me, is the way toward hope and wonder and joy. And for me, that meant writing a series of extremely in-depth Yelp reviews about plague and penguins of Madagascar.”

Sarah:  So, if you are feeling stymied or stuck as to what to do or what to create next— consider what it is that’s capturing your attention naturally.  For me, this week that would include: the music of Nick Mulvey, The Enneagram (I’m a 7w8), the new colors of Farrow and Ball paint inspired by liberty of London Fabrics, Sketchbook painting in gouache, Japanese gardens.

In these areas that fascinate us—we will find the seeds to our next dream…and the answer to the question about what we are supposed to be doing here on planet earth!

So what is it that you have been PAYING ATTENTION to lately?

How could you choose one or two and pay sustained attention to them?

2. I watched the Mark Twain Prize Ceremony for American Humor go to Dave Chapelle (available on Netflix) who I did not know before that night!  WOW, it was powerful and moving.  Next, I watched Dave on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee with Jerry Seinfeld (also Netflix) where he shared this about his own experience with creativity:

Dave Chapelle:

“For me, the [idea] drives and says “GET IN THE CAR!” And I’m like, wait- where are we going?

Idea: Don’t worry about it – I’m driving!  And then you just get there….sometimes I’m riding shotgun and sometimes I’m in the fucking trunk!  Other times, me, my EGO, says (with a regal air and self important tone), “I should do something”, but that’s no good because then there is no idea in the car and we are going nowhere. ”
-Dave Chapelle, winner of Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

I definitely was riding shotgun for “How Good Are You Willing to Let it Get” and for my novel Where the Deer Dream (ORDER HERE.)

In moments, I tried to give up on the novel and each time I tried, something so crazy and synchronistic would happen and I KNEW that the book wanted me to get back to working on it.

That car would pull up (with the idea driving!) and say GET IN THE CAR.

At many points, I felt like I was “riding in the fucking trunk!”  …it was not easy, but isn’t that our job as humans?—To be willing to let the ideas flow from God (or the universe) to us— because they don’t belong to us anyway…

3.  I listened to an episode of Andy J. Pizza’s Creative Peptalk podcast where he spoke about 6 different types of creative projects you might want to do— and it was awesome! You don’t have to be an artist to listen in and get something out of it. If you are a creator of any kind you’ll find it inspiring! LISTEN HERE. He’s got ADHD and I have a mad crush on his content.  Maybe you’ll get an idea for a 100 day project?

With much love,


Feeling READY to jump in the car with your own idea for your first book?! Come to our memoir writing intensive- Jan 23-25th!  You can learn more + register here. 



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