Tag Archives: month of letters

Month of Letters

Month of LettersI 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 🙂

Challenges (and progress)

I’ve signed up to do the Blogging from A to Z challenge in April. This may be further proof that I’m freaking crazy as I’m also planning to do the April Poem-A-Day challenge, but… well, there you go. If you’re interested in checking it out you can click on the picture which is linked to the Blogging from A to Z challenge website. The basic idea is exactly what you’d think it was — 26 blog posts over the course of April, with titles that start with the different letters of the alphabet.

Speaking of challenges, I’m still enjoying the Month of Letters challenge. I’ve stopped posting on the forums there because it was filling up my inbox with all the replies, and apparently it’s easier in my brain to just stop posting updates than it is to find the setting that would make it so I didn’t get the replies. *shrugs* It’s all good, the point for me was to do the letters, not necessarily to check-in everyday and tell people I’d done it 🙂 A couple times I’ve not written a letter on a specific day, but I’ve made up for it the next day by writing two, so that counts, right? I also received my first piece of Month of Letters snail mail yesterday, a letter from Northern Ireland. That was nice 🙂

Speaking of writing, I’m not doing a whole lot right now. Mostly I’m reading. The first step of the ‘How to Revise Your Novel’ course involves reading over the current draft of your novel and identifying what you’ve done wrong and what you’ve done right. It’s taking me a long time to do this. Partly because my first draft is handwritten with great sections marked ‘CUT THIS’ which makes reading a bit of a challenge, and also because I’m having a difficult time forcing myself to only identify problems with the story and leave problems I have with the writing for the time being. It’s killing me. Killing. I’ve failed a couple times already, but I think I’m getting a bit better at it. I have to constantly remind myself that I’ll be able to fix the writing later though.

Anyway, I was supposed to finish that read through on week one. I’m now on week three and I’m still working on it. The good news is, there’s a lot more to like about this story than I remembered, and some of the issues I thought were going to be pretty big, really aren’t. So far. I’m not done yet so there’s still plenty of time for me to become disappointed in myself. 🙂

Right, if I post this now I’ll have time to write a letter before I have to start dinner, so I’m off.

If you celebrate Valentine’s Day I hope you’re having a good one, and if you don’t, well, I hope your Tuesday is fantastic.