In September 2010, I took a month off from the internet. During my vacation, I told people that they could correspond with me by paper letter. Some people did. Some people still are. Every letter delights me.
When I write back, I find that I slow down and write differently than I do with an email. Email is all about the now. Letters are different, because whatever I write needs to be something that will be relevant a week later to the person to whom I am writing. In some ways it forces me to think about time more because postal mail is slower. “By the time you get this…” It is relaxing. It is intimate. It is both lasting and ephemeral.
How so? I find that I will often read the letters that I receive twice. Once when I get them and again as I write back. So, that makes it more lasting. It is more ephemeral because I don’t have copies of the letters that I write and I am the only one who has copies of the letters that my correspondents write. So, more ephemeral.
I have a simple challenge for you.
- In the month of February, mail at least one item through the post every day it runs. Write a postcard, a letter, send a picture, or a cutting from a newspaper, or a fabric swatch.
- Write back to everyone who writes to you. This can count as one of your mailed items.
All you are committing to is to mail 23 items. Why 23? There are four Sundays and one US holiday. In fact, you might send more than 23 items. You might develop a correspondence that extends beyond the month.
Write love letters, thank yous, or simply notes to say that you miss an old friend. Let yourself step away from the urgency of modern life and write for an audience of one. You might enjoy going to the mail box again.
Feeling intimidated? It’s fewer words than NaNoWriMo and I know how many of you do that. Join me in The Month of Letters Challenge.
So… I am definitely up for this next month! Challenge accepted as my fellow budding letter writing friend Abbye said. February… or Love Month as my blogging friend Clover at Fluttering Butterflies celebrates it. It’s a nice month to be sending letters! So anyway, as I have quite a few letters, postcards and things to be sending in February to meet my challenge, I have a little proposition for you.
I’d love to write to some of my lovely blog followers! As a wee thank you for reading my blog and also because it would just be a pleasure to connect our lives in this small way. On twitter I have made a handful of wonderful friends, if I may call you that and it would be great to get a little heart-lifting snail mail going. So…if you’d like a handwritten letter in February just let me know. The lettermo website has pointed me in the direction of the postable.com website, so you can collect all your mailing addresses together. ‘Easily gather mailing addresses for wedding invitations, birth announcements, holiday cards, or just because it’s nice to have them. Postable is free.’ It’s so handy and a great idea, and it will definitely be useful for this venture. If you’d like some mail from me in February please leave me a comment and stick your details into my part of postable: HERE. You don’t have to use your home address if you’re not comfortable with that, what about work or maybe a relative’s?
I dare you to take up this challenge too! Let’s keep the art of writing letters going strong as we wade…or wander as the case my be into 2013. Also lets help each other by swapping addresses. I will try to keep you posted on how my challenge is going throughout February, and I think I will get this calendar printed to jot your names and ideas for your post into. Thanks for everything, as always.