Monday, November 25, 2013

Author Bryan Cohen Back Again with 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts Volume 2: More Ideas for Blogs, Scripts, Stories and More

Guest Post by Bryan Cohen

A Priceless Creativity Habit 
by Bryan Cohen 

Your habits can make you or break you. Some of my worst habits almost broke me financially during my early 20s. My better ones raised me to some success almost a decade later. One habit in particular helped me to create an Amazon best-seller, get thousands of students in an online course and appear on the game show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire." If you added this habit to your life, you'd likely find equal, if not better, success yourself.  

Here's the habit: constantly thinking of ideas to improve my life and actively following up on them. 

People like to daydream about a better life. But how many of them actually write those daydreams down? And out of those select few, how many make an effort to see if the ideas are feasible? I imagine the number is smaller than you think. Writers and other creative types often say that they want to sell more art or make more money, but how likely are they to achieve these goals if they don't actively brainstorm on how to succeed?

Let me give you an example. I had about $8,000 in credit card debt that I wanted to pay off. I'd figured out that I'd be able to pay it off over the course of two years by making small payments each month. That's when my habit kicked in. My life would be better and easier if I could pay off that debt more quickly. I began to write a list of ways that I could pay off that debt quickly and easily. There were plenty of ideas on the list (it's been said that thinking of lots of ideas is easier than trying to come up with one alone), but one idea stuck out like an exciting thumb. The item on the list read, "Get on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and win $8,000 or more." 

Instead of dismissing the idea as crazy, I started researching how people get on the show. I looked up where auditions were and how former contestants convinced producers they were worthy of the hot seat. I studied trivia questions and prepared for the entry test. I went to ABC Studios in New York, auditioned twice and got onto the show. I plan to discuss the show more in depth on another blog post, but to make a long story short, I was ultimately successful at achieving my goal.  

Now imagine if I never created this list. I'd still be paying down that debt the old-fashioned way. The old-fashioned way is boring! The old-fashioned way would have me stuck in an office as my 9-to-5 job and would have me trying to make small potatoes money organizing workshops in the local YMCA. 

By brainstorming ways to improve my life, I also learned about self-publishing and freelance writing. I found out how to host a course online and how to bring thousands of students to my digital classroom. I also got to meet Meredith Vieira and walk away with awesome prize money. 

It's not enough to talk about how you want to improve your writing life or your career. You need to follow up that talk with two additional steps. Write down your ideas for how you want to make the improvements. Follow through on those ideas until you actually achieve them. 

If you can practice this as a weekly or daily habit, I can't guarantee you'll have game show success. But it is very likely you'll be more successful as a writer. 

Talk is cheap. It's time to get back in the habit.

About the Author

In honor of his new book, Cohen is hosting the “1,000 Prompts, 1,000 Dollars" Writing Contest on his website. Click the link to find out how to enter!  Click the next link to check out the rest of Cohen’s blog tour!

Bryan Cohen is an author, a creativity coach and an actor. His new book, 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts, Volume 2: More Ideas for Blogs, Scripts, Stories and More is now available on Amazon in digital and paperback format. His other books include 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts, The Post-College Guide to Happiness, and Ted Saves the World. He has published over 30 books, which have sold more than 20,000 copies in total. Connect with him on his website, Build Creative Writing Ideas, on Facebook or on Twitter.  

So sorry the LINKS weren't working earlier! They are now!!!


  1. Unfortunately I can't write my way out of a paper bag (how did I get there to start?) but I did enjoy this post!

  2. Haha, that's a great question :). Glad you liked the post, Melissa!

  3. So sorry about the links! They are running now!! Yes, Mel, How did you get in that paper bag. Wonder where that saying started?

  4. That's OK, Heather! Thank you for hosting me :).

  5. These books sound like a "must grab" for teachers.

  6. bringing in dollars by freelance writing jobs is usually simply generating articles for an consumer AND submitting The item through the internet. anyone never be asked to leave your own computer. They may either paycheck anyone having a fixed fee, ALONG WITH hourly fee or supply you a weekly employment Based on the writing jobs


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