Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I've decided to take an intermission from the challenge to get these 8 books I have waiting on the shelf into publication. I'm sad to take time off, but I think it'll be better in the long run. Besides, it means I can try to make the end of the challenge sync up with my 30th birthday, which will be cool :).

Be back soon and will post here occasionally if I feel inspired to do so!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Day 163: Valentine's Day

In order to be the best boyfriend I can possibly be, I'm going to spend as little time on this Valentine's Day post as possible :). I pushed myself hard to finish some of my often uncompleted tasks in the last 36 hours, which means that I'm finally getting a new and hopefully functioning phone, that I'm really close to getting all 61 blogs needed for my two month blog tour AND I've even made progress in a silly little time wasting game that gives me some kicks in the midst of my tough writing tasks.

Today, I wrote a character writing prompts post about vegans and yesterday, though I didn't post the link, I wrote one about Jews :). I also put something together for the blog tour centered on a Charlie Brown quote and I continued to work on the prompts book. Off to have some scenes from an Italian restaurant :).

Monday, February 13, 2012

Day 162: Audio Book

Today, I worked on the 2nd recording for The Post-College Guide to Happiness and it's been a really exciting process so far. I realize that most professional audio book folks probably take months to perfect every word possible, I'm trying to do it in three sessions since I'm funding it all myself. I really hope that people love the book, love my voice and think highly about the effort I've put in :).

In the writing world, I worked on a blog tour post about happiness and the wisdom of sticking to your skills. I've also got a character writing post to put up and I continued my work on the writing prompts book. Off to watch the Voice!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Day 161: Whitney Houston

What can we learn from the death of Whitney Houston? Certainly a lot of things. So many artistic people assume that if they strike it rich or make it big in the industry that all of their demons will be magically whisked away. Even though there have been many too-young celebrity deaths to prove otherwise, people still think that fame is the key to emotional health. In many cases, it's the opposite. Addiction is a scary thing and I don't think it's fair in all cases to blame the addict. I saw a Facebook post on my news feed today that said we shouldn't show Whitney Houston sympathy because she was a drug addict and death happens to those who engage in that sort of thing. I understand what he's getting at, but I still don't think it's a fair assessment.

Whitney Houston brought a lot of joy to people's lives and she was still doing it today, even if her talent was on the decline, with a recent movie remake in the pipework. When she was at the top of the world, her voice could be heard everywhere around the world and we loved everything about her. Her problems with drug abuse became public knowledge over a decade ago and seeing her decline has been painful. Since there had been previous reports of her death prematurely over the years, I didn't believe it at first, especially since earlier that day I had read she was up for a potential judging gig on the FOX show "The X-Factor."

Back to what we can learn. Even those on top of the world can fall without the proper help and love in our lives. Even if we get the top medical care and have a wonderful family, we may be too far down the rabbit hole by that point unless we recognize our own problems right away. We don't know if Whitney Houston's death had anything to do with drugs at this point, but drugs had to have been a factor in the decline of her health that made her susceptible to whatever killed her. If you have a problem with drugs or any addiction, find help or someone that will force you to get help immediately. The more time you spend under the thumb of this addiction, the more likely you are to die prematurely.

I loved Whitney Houston's voice and even I have been known to sing a long to "I Will Always Love You" from time to time. Whitney, you will be missed.

Today in writing, I continued work on the prompts book, posted a prompts page on character writing prompts on perpetual students and I am about to begin working on my blog tour post for the upcoming Happiness Blog Tour. Very excited! Just need to find about 20 more blogs to host me :).

Have a good rest of the weekend everybody!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Day 160: Jeremy Lin

I'm definitely excited about the emergence of one Jeremy Lin. I got to watch my first few highlights of him last night as the Knicks held on against an angry Los Angeles Lakers team. I've got a little bit of Linsanity going on, as the kids like to say. I think it's awesome to see someone come up from the bench, literally from the Development League and kick some butt. I have no idea if he's for real or not, but I hope that Jeremy Lin continues to be a force for at least the rest of the season.

Today, I've hit a nice little milestone. I've written 400,000+ words toward my blogs and books since September. I'm about to release my 2nd book of the challenge, with seven more on the way shortly after that (re-releasing some of my writing prompts into workbooks and journals for those of you just checking in). My huge and potentially unattainable goal is to hit 100 books sold per day by June. Last month I hit around 35 books per day and this month I'm still over 30 a day so far. Releasing books that could all be major sellers for me in the next month will hopefully build some big momentum by June. I will continue to believe in and embrace this seemingly ludicrous goal, which will help me pay off my credit card debt. Hey, if Jeremy Lin can put up 38 on Kobe, I can sell 3,000 books in a month. Totally :).

In my writing on this fine Saturday, I worked on the new prompts book, wrote a blog tour post about thinking and happiness and I posted a character writing prompts post about knights and warriors. Happy rest of the weekend everybody. Keep on keeping on, Jeremy Lin!

If you are interested in finding out more about my work, check out my author page on Amazon, on which you can check out all of my books. If you have a book blog, I'm currently looking to do a blog tour starting later this year. Feel free to contact me at my Build Creative Writing Ideas website. Thanks!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Day 159: Home Alone

On most days, hanging out home alone and doing my writing is something I'm used to and have no trouble with. On a day in which I'm sick, it would certainly help to have someone around to bring me soup, etc. While Amy wasn't able to stay home to take care of me, I feel as though the best way to take care of myself is through proper medication and supplementation. By using supplements like apple cider vinegar along with the medication to suppress my symptoms, hopefully I can be done with my illness twice as fast so that I can get back to writing with a full noggin between my shoulders :).

Today, I worked on the secret prompts book, write a post on internal happiness and posted a blog post on the subject of character writing prompts about sages. Have a great snowy weekend, Chicago!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Day 158: Illness

How does one deal with an illness during a big creativity challenge like this one? Well, in my case, I more or less just tried to write as normal taking as many naps as necessary to get the creativity juices flowing. Nobody likes writing with a sore throat or a wad of tissues hanging around. If you've set out a challenge for yourself, however, you need to weather the storm by forcing yourself to make it happen. I've been sick for two days and while I've taken a little longer getting everything done before the evening, I'm happy to say I've still been successful. Don't give up, even if it gets tough, even if you feel like you're gonna pass out. Do what you have to do to make your goal continue to come true!

Today, I wrote a blog post on character writing prompts about the mean spirited worked on some prompts for the secret project and I'm about to do a blog tour post that will hopefully knock a blogger's socks off. Have a great night all!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Day 157: UNC vs. Duke

Ah, and here we've come again. UNC vs. Duke. The University of North Carolina Tar Heels versus the Duke University Blue Devils in a showdown. I've you've been following my blog, you know that I attended UNC-Chapel Hill and I'm a big fan. Amy and I have watched every single game this season and we always invest a lot of time and energy into these big rivalry games. It's a lot of fun to get involved with a new set of players every few years and to be connected with one of the year-in year-out best teams in the sport. I think UNC has an edge this year, but there's no way to really know until they play the game!

Today, I continued working on a project related to prompts, which I'll tell you all about when I'm finished. I also wrote a great post about conditional happiness and I posted a blog post about character writing prompts based on goons and thugs. Go Tar Heels!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Day 156: Overworked

It is possible that between the 2,500 word per day challenge, trying to edit and promote my books, keeping up a training routine for a 10 mile race and dieting in an effort to get back to my high school weight...I may have overworked myself a bit.

When I took on my work through my freelance job, I was very excited for the extra income. Already, I've been able to pay off more of my debt than usual. But even that extra hour to hour and a half of work, when compounded with my longer runs, has taken a lot of oomph out of me. Today, I feel a bit of a cold coming on, which I can hopefully destroy through my use of supplements and a good night of sleep.

During a challenge of this magnitude, it's almost impossible not to feel overworked at least once in a while. The difficult part will be pushing through this feeling and potential sickness to keep going all the way through till the end.

Continued secret project work, wrote a blog post about practicing happiness and posted about character writing prompts about camp counselors.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Day 155: The Voice

I'm writing this blog post as I watch the beginning of the 2nd episode of The Voice on NBC. I don't usually write when I'm watching television, but every once in a while you've got to make an exception (especially when Cee-Lo Green is involved :)). I'm a big fan of this show as Amy and I watched it all last summer. I think that it's a great concept to wait until you hear someone's voice before judging their ability as a vocalist. Enough of my publicizing NBC for one night, time to just enjoy it!

Today in writing, I continued to work on my secret project, I wrote a blog post on a famous quote by Albert Schweitzer and I posted a blog post on the subject of character writing prompts about technical crew members.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Day 154: The Dream

What is the dream with all of this writing stuff? Do I want to be a millionaire? Do I want to be famous and get on television? Do I want to help hundreds of thousands of people to defeat their creative roadblocks? Yes, I would like all of those things, but what is the most important thing to me?

If I wanted to be the most honorable and positive person alive, I would definitely say that the "helping thousands of people dream" was way more important than the money. Maybe it still does rank as number 1, but it certainly isn't by far and away the winner. Getting myself and my family out of debt is of extreme importance to me. If I could do that and could ensure that future generations of Cohens are well taken care of and well versed in financial know how, that would be an amazing gift to my life. I've always wanted to be famous as well, so that dream would be exciting and fun.

Right now, the current dream is to continue to push my book sales as high as they can go so that I'm completely out of personal debt by the end of the year. Then I want to take down my college debt by the end of 2013. After that, then I'll concentrate on trying to become a big shot :).

Today, I continued to work on the secret project, wrote a blog tour post about going on your personal path and I posted a blog post on character writing prompts about stupid people.

Here's my prediction for Super Bowl 2012. Patriots 27, Giants 17. Have fun watching the commercials everyone!

If you are interested in finding out more about my work, check out my author page on Amazon, on which you can check out all of my books. If you have a book blog, I'm currently looking to do a blog tour starting early next year. Feel free to contact me at my Build Creative Writing Ideas website. Thanks!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Day 153: Super Bowl 2012

I'm very excited to be hosting a Super Bowl 2012 party that will rival all others! Well, it will probably be smaller than some, but at least it's a pot luck and it's also serving as a housewarming for Amy and myself! I'll be making at least 60 wings and buckets of fries for people to scarf down and it should make Super Bowl 2012 a memorable one :).

As with all holidays during this challenge, I will have to get all of my writing done early on in the day. Holidays haven't been the biggest challenge though. Editing has. I've been having trouble getting my ducks in a row to edit my book, 1,000 Character Writing Prompts. I've been so focused on the writing and also my exercise routine, I've had trouble getting around to getting the book out. Considering it was finished in early January, I have a cover and I'm well-versed on everything having to do with formatting, it should be out already. I need to push myself to find an extra 10 hours in the next few days to get it up and out. Super Bowl 2012 weekend probably won't be the best time to fit that editing in, but there's no time like the present!

Today, I worked on my new secret project a bit, I have yet to work on my blog tour post yet, but I have posted a character writing prompts blog post about laborers. Happy Super Bowl 2012 weekend all!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Day 152: Josh Hamilton Relapse

There were plenty of reports today about the Josh Hamilton relapse and while it stinks that he was unable to keep himself sober, it certainly could have been worse. Josh Hamilton, for those who don't know, is a baseball player for the Texas Rangers, a pretty darn good one too. A former number one pick in the draft, Hamilton had gone through major substance abuse problems in the past and went through a lot of treatment to get back to the place he is today. His relapse involved three or four drinks at a local bar, it did not involve drugs or anything else. He currently has three drug tests a week to keep him from getting back into the habit. Hamilton had a rough emotional year, as he was the player who through the baseball up into the stands, causing a man to reach for the ball and fall to his death. The man's son watched him die and it was quite horrible. For Hamilton to keep himself sober through inadvertently causing another man's death is astonishing.

It made me think a lot about the various addictions I have, which are much more minor than Josh Hamilton's issues, but still tend to crop up from time to time. We all have our various addictions: technology, procrastination, anger, food, alcohol, television, etc. Learning to cope with these small and large addictions and leading a productive life can be a challenge. I realize that Hamilton is a major public figure, being a professional baseball player and all, but I think it was awesome for him to immediately come clean about his relapse. How often do we hold ourselves accountable for our various relapses into negativity, doubt and unhealthy behavior? I think that we can learn a lot from Hamilton in that we can make a mistake, own up to it and move on positively with our lives in the future.

Today in my personal writing journey, I worked on the introduction to a new secret project, wrote a blog tour post about "the past" and posted a blog post about character writing prompts about the fearful.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Day 151: Did the Groundhog See His Shadow?

Did the groundhog see his shadow? Yes! Punxsutawny Phil saw his shadow and it appears we are doomed for six more weeks of winter. Of course, this happened on a day where warmer spring temperatures seemed to dominate some of the coldest parts of the nation, including my Chicago home.

I've been thinking about the movie Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray today, and not just because the movie had a dozen clips posted from it on Facebook today. I love the idea of building up skills every day (every repeated day) over a lifetime (the same day). It makes me wish that I had that opportunity, but that's the thing. All of us have a chance to keep improving our talents every year. I'm a much better writer than I was a decade ago and if I keep writing, I'll be even stronger another decade from now. If I keep my health in tune and my performing active, I'll be better in both of those areas as well. The best thing to do is to not let your skills atrophy. Keep up with what you love to do and add new skills when you want to make something a part of your life.

Today in the writing world, I worked on Identity Interrupted a bit, wrote a blog post for my tour based on a Thoreau quote and posted a blog post about character writing prompts focused on the talkers.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Day 150: The Tough Ones

Some days on the writing challenge are tougher than others. Even a seemingly easy day like today was, in which I took the day off from my hour and a half long workout routine and mid-day shower, still threw me for a loop with an unplanned power outage right before a deadline. I have yet to finish all of my 2,500 words thus far today, but on the bright side, I did receive my largest freelance writing check of all time from my freelance gig. It's true that I still have some work left to do today, but getting a nice sum of money that I can place toward my dead will soften the blow somewhat :).

In writing news, I worked on Identity Interrupted, posted a blog post for character writing prompts on the subject of partiers and continued to make headway on my blog tour posts. Happy hump day everybody!