Thursday, June 2, 2011

"Bryan Cohen Blog Tour and Giveaway"

Finishing Strong
By Bryan Cohen

This is my final visiting guest post on my 33 day blog tour around the Web. In an attempt to finish strong, I’m going to talk about the ultimate “strong finish” as conceived by Dr. Stephen Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

In Covey’s book, he discusses an exercise in which you are to look all the way ahead to your death. You aren’t to picture the circumstances surrounding it or the preparations of the event. As part of the exercise you are simply supposed to picture the eulogies delivered by your friends and loved ones. Ideally, you would probably want these eulogies to tell tales of a great person who accomplished amazing things and had an unshakable character. Covey essentially asks the question, “Well, how are you doing so far?”

If you were to project ahead to this day, what would these people actually say about you? Would they say that you went for your dreams and inspired people? Would they say that you were a good employee who worked hard for the money? Would they say that you were there for the people who cared about you the most? The trick with this exercise is that you get to choose what they are going to say. The way you choose, is by living the life the way you want to be talked about when you are no longer here.

When I first read about this exercise I was not particularly happy with the way I might be portrayed in the eulogies during my funeral. I was a passionate guy with big dreams who had accomplished little of what I’d set out to do in my creative life. Due to low funds and always needing a favor here and there, I had alienated many friends by not attending their events or to their needs. I spent a lot of time online and my weight was beginning to balloon from a lack of exercise.

I’m not saying that reading about this eulogy concept changed everything, but it was certainly a kick in the pants to head in the appropriate direction. I wanted to be known as a person who had accomplished things. I wanted people to say that I was a loyal friend and someone that they were happy to have known. I wanted to be an inspiration to people in my daily actions, my physique, my everything. That is how I want people to remember me when I’m gone.

I’m not all of the way there yet. There are still big things in this world I want to accomplish, but I know that I’ve spent a lot of my time wisely these last few years getting closer to where I want to end up by the end. None of us can control when we’re going to die and how it’s going to happen. But if we control the way in which we live, we can change how people look at our impact on the world after we go.


Bryan Cohen is giving away 100 personalized writing prompts to one giveaway entrant chosen at random during the blog tour. Personalized prompts are story starters that cater specifically to a writer’s subject matter, strengths/weaknesses, etc. Cohen will create the prompts to cater exclusively to the winner. He is giving away free digital copies of his book The Writing Sampler to everybody who enters, which includes excerpts from each of his four books on writing. The book contains essays, writing prompts and tips and tricks to enhance your writing skills. In addition, for each of Cohen’s books that reach the Top 500 on Amazon during his blog tour, he will add a $50 Amazon gift card to the drawing (up to six $50 cards in total)!

To enter, simply post a comment to this blog post with your e-mail address. Entries will be counted through June 2nd, 2011.

Bryan Cohen is a writer, actor and comedian from Dresher, Pennsylvania. Since graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill he has written four books (1,000 Creative Writing Prompts: Ideas for Blogs, Scripts, Stories and More, 500 Writing Prompts for Kids: First Grade through Fifth Grade, Sharpening the Pencil: Essays on Writing, Motivation, and Enjoying your Life, and Writer on the Side: How to Write Your Book Around Your 9 to 5 Job), several plays (Something from Nothing and Chekhov Kegstand: A Dorm Room Dramedy in Two Acts) and he was the head writer for an un-produced Web series (Covenant Coffee). His writing and motivation website Build Creative Writing Ideas has had over 100,000 visitors since it was founded in December 2008. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.
Follow Bryan on Twitter @buildcwideas.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds great.....

    GFC follower