Elaine Blose: February 2017 Barefoot Writing Challenge Winner


Elaine BloseCongratulations to Elaine Blose for Winning the February 2017 Barefoot Writing Challenge! (Your $100 prize is on its way!)

The Challenge was to write an essay that asked:

Name the three things you love most about yourself.

Elaine overcame a blinking cursor, and found her answers. Enjoy her winning submission:

Three Things I Love Most

Name three things I love most about myself?

The cursor sat there blinking at me.

I thought and thought. I tried brainstorming lists, meditating, and procrastinating. Nothing came.

Darn it!

If I were asked what three things I hated about myself, I could answer right away. I hate my hair, how some days I can’t concentrate on tasks to save my life, and that I don’t exercise enough. I could even come up with more than three.

But what I love about myself?

The blinking cursor taunted me.

Maybe I should give up and go see a movie.

Then it hit me — I love that I go see movies on my own. It isn’t just movies I do on my own — heck I’ve gone on vacation by myself. Not just locally, but a globe-trotting halfway-around-the-world-by-myself vacation.

I got tired of waiting on friends or family to go places with me, so I just did them on my own. Several people commented on how they couldn’t do a quarter of the things I’ve done on their own. They had to have someone with them. Not me.

The ability to do things on my own is something I love about myself.

My brain was cooking now. What else?

Blinking cursor.


I was about to give up again and go read a book when an epiphany hit me. I had a lifelong love of learning. I enjoy reading how-to books and taking classes, or sitting in the library for hours, devouring books on any subject. I have never stopped learning and doubt I ever will.

I love my appetite for learning.

I needed one more thing that I love about me.

Blinking cursor.


It felt hopeless.

Another sigh.

I looked back over what I’d written and remembered why my friends didn’t go on vacation with me — they never had the money.

I, on the other hand, live a frugal life and save money. OK, my friends tell me I’m just cheap. Yet, I have saved my money by living within my means and staying out of debt. While this might not always be possible, at least I’ve managed so far.

Because of this skill, I could afford to take a job recently with less hours so I can spend time with my aging mother who needs me more and more. I also have more time to spend doing things I love, like writing this essay. So for me, doing without some things has enabled me to live a fuller life of travel, taking courses and buying books to feed my lifelong learning, and being there for friends and loved ones when they need me most.

I love being a good money manager.

So, the three things I love about myself are: doing things on my own, lifelong learning, and being good at managing my money.

As an added bonus, I developed more confidence in finding the things I do love about myself along the way.

Take that, blinking cursor!



  1. Marie Squeeze on

    I think Elaine hit home with a lot of writers. It’s your character, what makes you, you. It’s your every day life and what you learn from it. Like yourself enough to see what you are about outside looking in.

    • Shirley Snow on

      I absolutely loved all these articles! Then I repented by not doing one myself. I read most back to first of the year and was excitingly injected into every one! I have been procrastinating in this “writers life,” I’m not proud, but I am humbled…onward and upward!

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