Jeff Friend: March 2017 Barefoot Writing Challenge Winner


Jeff FriendCongratulations to Jeff Friend for Winning the March 2017 Barefoot Writing Challenge! (Your $100 prize is on its way!)

The Challenge was to write an essay that answered this question:

What are your favorite things about your office/workspace?

Jeff not only gave us insight into the thing that matters most in his office sanctuary, he colored it by explaining what that thing means and how it directs his writing career. Enjoy his winning submission…

Looking around my office workspace, I realize that it is probably very similar to most other home offices: a few family photos, some books and magazines, and my computer and printer. Nothing spectacular that would make other writers fawn with jealousy and envy.

Then I notice the one thing that definitely could be described as my favorite thing: the door to the room. To most people, it would appear to be a basic rectangle of wood with three hinges and a doorknob. But to me, after 27 years working at the same company amid a sea of identical drab cubicles, that door means so much more.

First, it allows me to have a (generally) quiet sanctuary where I can use the solitude to think, plan, and write. With all the busyness and distractions that call to me from the other side of my door securely kept at bay, I can concentrate on providing my clients with the focus needed to produce the best copy I can for them. These companies have entrusted me with their confidence that I will help them succeed, and my door is the guardian that helps me accomplish that goal.

Second, the door reminds me of the freedom of being a copywriter. If I get temporarily demotivated or can’t seem to find the right words to type, I know that I can get up, open the door, and go have a chat with my wife, share a lunch with her, or go for a walk. In fact, I can do anything or go anywhere. My door doesn’t restrict me; rather, it opens to a world of possibilities, something a cubicle could never do.

Finally, I have total control over my door. It represents many of the best points of being a copywriter. When closed, it offers me security, sanctuary, and a place to excel for my clients. When opened, I can freely go visit my wife (who always brightens my day), go enjoy the beauty and invigoration of nature, or the freedom to do whatever comes to mind at the moment. It’s all up to me.

The pictures on the wall and the smiling faces in the frames on my desk are comforting, and the various trinkets and gadgets scattered on the shelves bring a smile. But my favorite thing in my office is that plain, sturdy door. And sometimes, if I listen closely, I swear I can hear that most pleasant sound — opportunity knocking. It is always welcome.



  1. Jennifer Walser on

    Very interesting copy! Love the way it kept me engaged. The …’opportunity knocking’ was definitely catching!

  2. Shadrach Anekwe on

    The copy is quite interesting and straight to the point. I can’t wait to try my luck in June’s

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