Yes indeed! International Correspondence Writers Month is upon us. February is the month set aside for writing a letter a day, by hand, and sending it in the mail. Yes, I mean the postal service, with envelopes and stamps.
I think a lot of people hear about an event like InCoWriMo and initially have a reaction like, “Oh Cool!” Then, the reality of it sets in. It takes time. It takes a little bit of money. There is the WIIFM question, What’s In It For Me? So I thought I’d take a moment and tell you some of what I think is in it for you.
- Relaxation. Putting pen to paper to talk to someone you care about can be quite cathartic. I rarely find that I am tired after writing a letter, but instead, I feel renewed and energized.
- Connection. Writing to someone you care about is a way to open a channel of communication that can often be neglected. I find it is sometimes easier to write a letter about something important to me than it would be to call and talk about the same topic. I find that ink and paper lend itself to a visceral connection between the author and the reader.
- Reflection. Many times as I write a letter I find myself thinking differently about things I addressed in the letter. I see that sometimes answers to my problems are revealed through the process of writing to someone else. It’s a sort of “talking through” a problem or puzzle I have struggled with.
- Fun. It’s not only fun to write a letter using excellent paper and maybe a sweet pen, but it’s fun for someone to receive a handwritten note. Admit it, wouldn’t you be thrilled to walk to your mailbox and find a handwritten letter from someone you care about instead of a solicitation from VISA or the coupon tabloid? Ok, so maybe the coupon tabloid is fun too… but which one would you keep? Which leads me to number 5…
- You are creating a treasure when you write a letter. Many people hold on to and cherish handwritten letters. I know I do. These messages are keepsakes long after they are sent, and perhaps long after we are gone. I sometimes wish I had a letter from my dad. I have some cards he wrote in. A letter would be gold though.
- You might get something in return. If you send something out, it often comes back… It’s kind of mystical sounding, but I find it’s true. I never write a letter expecting one in return, but I do enjoy when I get responses.
I’m going to write at least one letter each day in February. I am challenging you to write just one letter in February and send it. Then, come back here and tell me how it went in the comments. I would love to read your letter writing experiences. If you decide to write one letter a day for the entire month with me, let’s get together afterward and compare notes about the experience.
Go forth and write.
One last thing… If you’d like a handwritten letter from me in February, subscribe to the blog via e-mail (top right side of the blog) and then let me know in the comments by February 20, 2018. I will contact you directly (at the e-mail you subscribe with) to get your snail mail address and then do my best to write to you during InCoWriMo 2018.