Sunday, May 29, 2011

Bryan Cohen Blog Tour and Giveaway

Food and Writing
By Bryan Cohen

I’ve always had an interesting relationship with food. When I was a kid, it was one of my best friends, inducing comfort and always being around when I needed it. While I never indulged too much, a slow metabolism turned that love of food into chubbiness. Later in high school, when I dieted for wrestling to get into a lower weight class, it became an enemy. It was the temptation of food that tried to keep me from my varsity spot at 119 lbs. In college, it became a buddy again with all-you-can-eat dining halls and its use in my poetry (I once won over a girl with a poem comparing myself and another guy to an unknown chocolate cake and a delectable but familiar crème

Through a few more dieting periods and feasting periods, I’ve come to a sort of peace with food. Starting this year I’ve taken up cooking, which is most fun for me when I’m entertaining a large group of people. At a recent dinner, I cooked up a batch of gruyere, prosciutto and arugula stuffed chicken breasts with a caramelized shallot sauce (thank you Cooking Light) and it went over spectacularly. Chicago is one of those cities with a ridiculous amount of dining choices wherever you turn. To save money and your creative energy, however, it’s best to do your own cooking and use as many fresh ingredients as possible.

When I was younger, it was much easier to find stores of creativity no matter what I ate. Nowadays, the best way to get myself going is with high energy meals, not too high in calories that keep my brain working. When you eat a large meal or you down a huge amount of booze, your body goes into major digestion mode. It starts diverting blood, oxygen, and energy from all over your body to the stomach area. If you have a hard time being creative when you’re in a normal state, imagine how tough it would be when your body is concentrating all its efforts away from your brain.

In addition, if you are eating foods that are high in sugar or caffeine, after a little burst of alertness, your body and brain will drop like a ton of bricks. Training yourself off of sugar or caffeine sucks (it’s strangely like getting over a drug addiction, hmm) it’s the best way to keep your mind clear and focused. Foods that naturally improve your alertness like apples and whole grains are much healthier in the long term.

Now I know it seems a little silly for a writer to be talking about food in connection with creativity, but since I’ve reformed my diet to include more fruits and veggies and fewer heavy meals or sources of caffeine, I’ve felt like a creative machine. I believe that creativity is tough enough that there’s no reason to put anything in your own way. Setting up the best diet possible for yourself is obviously great for your health and weight but it also gets your mind ready to churn out that novel you’ve been putting off.

Saving money, thinking more effectively, having a healthier body and weight, and showing off to all of your friends sound like good enough benefits to me to invest in a cook book and an apron that says: kiss the published writer. Maybe I should copyright that...

"Author Bryan Cohen gets excited about a legitimate Mediterranean meal in a Bedouin tent."

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">@buildcwideasa>.

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