Denise Michaels: January 2017 Barefoot Writing Challenge Winner

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Denise MichaelsCongratulations to Denise Michaels for Winning the January 2017 Barefoot Writing Challenge! (Your $100 prize is on its way!)

The Challenge was to write an essay that asked:

Write yourself a letter detailing what you’ll achieve by this time next year.

Denise delighted us with a descriptive account of what will happen when she really starts to apply her writing knowledge to her goals. Enjoy her winning submission:


Dearest Denise, 

Remember when you were at the tail end of the second set of golf lessons? At the end of that series of lessons, you were at your wit’s end. Enough with the practice. 

The time had come. You had to take the new skills onto an actual course. 

This was a scary proposition. You anticipated the intimidation of playing on an actual course and how other players would be angry with you for your poor play. 

But you knew in your heart and head that to learn the game, you had to play the game. Not practice, but actually apply your training and play the game. 

Fast-forward 10 years, and this same concept appeared again. 

You were immersed in your lessons in 2016. You dove in and learned new crafts — copywriting and marketing. You obtained a certification, took classes, attended an industry conference, listened to podcasts, and read, read, and read. 

So much information came your way in 2016. Yet, the thrill of learning something new kept you on your path. 

At the beginning of 2017, you noticed that the incubation of last year’s training, education, and knowledge had been effective. Your perception had changed. Like when: 

You were in a restaurant looking around and came up with a couple of easy-to-implement marketing ideas. 

Or, when you came across a website promoting a local food bank. Improvements to the copy popped in your head. 

Your brain was different. 

The time had come to share your knowledge and skills with the world. It was time to apply what you learned in 2016 in a meaningful and effective way. 

Your word and beacon for 2017 became… apply

This is what application looked like to you: 

You wrote long and short spec assignments, entered challenges, and started to write for a friend’s newsletter. 

At your full-time job, you participated in the marketing strategy of the education program and thought more about the audience’s needs. You continued to hone your skills by writing headlines and subject lines. You insisted on strong calls to action. 

You finally launched your moneymaking website. Much to your delight and surprise, the website provided information to those who needed it the most. Your visitors responded in kind by reading, sharing, and thanking you for the information. This all translated into the start of a steady flow of income. 

Every time you applied, the results were a learning experience. You either learned how to do better, or you learned to celebrate your success — most often a combination of both. 

Despite expending energy on application, your thirst for knowledge never stopped. The additional educational resources you consumed in 2017 will take you to the next level. 

Maybe that will be the phrase for 2018? Next Level. 

Sincerely, 

Denise

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