I participated in the Month of Letters this year. The idea was that every day in the month of February I would send something out to someone via snail mail. I know, you’re probably looking at the date at the bottom right corner of your screen, scratching your head and re-reading that second sentence. I know the Month of Letters officially ended almost a full month ago and I’m just doing a recap about it now but, the thing is, it’s still not over. Not for me. Not really.
I didn’t know who I was going to write in February so I posted on here, Twitter and the Month of Letters forums and said if you want me to write you, send me your address. And you did. A lot of you did. I wish I’d kept better records so I could say exactly how many of you gave me your address and your blessing to send you a letter, but I didn’t. I don’t actually even know how successful I was at doing the Month of Letters LOL.
I didn’t write everyday. I just couldn’t. However, I did write most days, and I think I made up for the ones I missed by writing two or three letters on some days. More importantly (to me) I wrote every single person who sent me their address. It took a long time, I had more addresses than there were days in February, but last week I mailed off the last letter I owed anyone from February (better late than never, right?).
Writing the letters was awesome. It gave me an excuse to buy schmexy papers and envelopes (always win) and when people wrote back it meant I got to meet new people. I feel like several of those people are going to become true and lasting friends. What’s more, it helped me connect with existing friends on a different and more real level than we previously had.
Writing letters is going to remain a very important part of my life from now on. It really is. Without sounding too flaky, I feel like regularily writing letters has been a transformative expirience for me. Writing to friends is like having a little conversation with them, except in my head and on paper (one of my new friends phrased it that way, I thought it was perfect) and it’s so awesome. In order to have that conversation I have to slow things down, focus on just what I’m doing. It’s not like writing an email where I might stop part way through to check Twitter, or where my attention is divided between four email accounts, the website I’m referencing and the open Word .doc I’m working in. When I write a letter, a real letter, that gets my complete attention. It’s relaxing, meditative.
I’m not doing a very good job of explaining, I don’t think, but it has helped me make real connections, both with other people and myself. I love it, and I have the Month of Letters to thank for it. Yay!
Do you write snail mail letters? Has your expirience been similar to mine?
If you haven’t written a letter in a long time, why not try it? Send me your address even (email, comment, whatever) and I’ll drop you a line to get you started 🙂