Sarah Cooper is a writer, comedian, and creator behind the satirical blog, The Cooper Review.
The blog has produced viral posts such as 10 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings, 9 Non-threatening Leadership Strategies for Women, and The Difference Between Living in New York and San Francisco. Cooper offered her insights for an interview with HelloFlo, where we discussed the importance of humor and pride, female role models, and healthy risk-tasking. Her first book, 100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings, was recently released.
What do you do for a living?
I’m mainly a blogger, author, writer person. I spend my days doing a lot of things that are fun, like creating blog posts, videos, chatting with fans and readers online, and coming up with different ideas for the next thing I do—and things that aren’t so fun but are necessary, like figuring out how to make money and promote myself and keep this thing going.
Tell us more about an exciting project that you’ve been working on lately.
I just published my first and second book! 100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings is a collection of all the things I’ve seen my coworkers do (and things I’ve done myself) in meetings to look smart. It was many years in the making and I’m super proud of it. The second book is a corporate coloring and activity book, where you can color in low hanging fruit, and someone getting thrown under the bus, and write your resignation letter mad libs.
What are your hopes for your future and the future of comedy?
I am really inspired by how some of my heroes in comedy, like Mindy Kaling, Issa Rae, Loryn Brantz, all have figured out how to be funny doing a wide range of things, from TV, to YouTube, to books, to cartoons. For me I hope I get to really figure out what it is I want to do, what I’m best at and how to focus on that, knowing that there is so much freedom to design that life for yourself and not have to fit into any specific box. And for the future of comedy I hope new avenues for expression and exposure keep opening up.
What do you consider to be one of the most important aspects of your work?
My tagline is “funny because it’s true,” and I think that is the key piece. A lot of what I create is based on observation, so people laugh because they recognize it. The other aspect is that a lot of it is really bad advice, I’m usually telling my readers that they should do the opposite of what I’ve actually written.
How do you find inspiration and hope in the face of discouragement?
This is tough and I go through bouts of elation and pride in my work, to bouts of fear about the future and feelings of hopelessness. For me it’s been best to recognize it and talk about it, with my husband or a friend or my sister, and just be really honest that I’m in a slump and not be too hard on myself for feeling that way. And time usually gets me back to feeling strong again.
What’s an important lesson that you’ve learned since you started this work?
I often didn’t speak up at work and sometimes I’d blame it on the circumstances at work – but since I’ve left work I’ve noticed I often don’t speak up even when I’m my own boss. So I’ve learned the issues I had in the office kind of follow me around and I have to deal with them!
Do you have any advice for young girls who want to be more involved in comedy?
My advice would be to test your comedy out on friends and family and give yourself a way to take small risks before you take big ones. This will make it easier to put yourself out there in a big way.