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The After Show is where I talk about the things that didn't make their way into the interview with the artist—and shouldn't have made their way into it. The After Show is me, riffing.

 

In this case I riff on Sarah Hepola's writing in Salon, and why you should check it out. I think it can guide any writer into creating better stuff. Sarah is one of our great stylists. If you're a younger writer, you should rip off her voice until you find your own. 

 

I found my own after detouring through the world of sports broadcasting, and share a story about when I knew I wanted to be a writer and not a TV anchor. A lot of my preference for the written word came from wanting to perfect the performance I put on the page, which is a subject Sarah and I discussed and one John McPhee delves into in his latest book, Draft No. 4. This book is a kick-in-the-ass reminder to not give up on yourself and your dreams. 

 

I bring up other people whose work still inspires me, like David Foster Wallace, and why you can and should read Infinite Jest. But the best primer for DFW and his worldview is his 2005 commencement address at Kenyon College. I watch it maybe twice a year.

I also tell the story about a time that Sarah was bracingly honest with me at a dinner, and how she's become such a good judge of character by first examining and exposing all her own flaws. 

 

Near the end of the episode, I admit I can't go where Sarah goes. She has a courage I can't muster. 

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