The Art of Correspondence: A Month of Letters

When Care (Care’s Online Book Club) told me about her goal of writing a letter a day this year, I knew it was something I really wanted to do, too.

But an entire year of writing a letter a day? A year was just way too overwhelming. It was okay that I didn’t actually know 365 people to write to – Care assured me I didn’t need to write to a different person each time, I could write letters to the same recipients.

But what a commitment! A letter every single day.

I love digging into a project, like the Creative Every Day project, but I knew adding writing a letter a day this year to my list of intentions was just setting myself up for failure.

Then last week, Care posted about a challenge she’d found: A Month of Letters 2012. Since she was already writing a letter every day, signing up for the challenge was a no-brainer for her.

Me? I had to think about it a little. It was only for a month. I could handle a month, right? Not only that, it happens to be the shortest month of the year (even with this being a leap year).

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When I was little, I wrote to penpals across the world. Last year, when we finally went through the accumulation of a decade of junk in preparation for our big move, I came across a box of letters I’d received from penpals when I was a kid. I’d kept every single one.

Looking through this box, I remembered how much fun it was to sit down with a decorated sheet of paper, and write about what was happening in my life. The delight of finding an interesting stamp to use. The thrill of writing down the address on the envelope and picturing my little missive winging its way across the continents.

I miss that.

Don’t get me wrong – I love emails. I write long chatty, emails to friends every day. I receive long, chatty emails back. Long, chatty emails are a much loved part of my daily routine.

But there’s something about putting pen to paper that is really just so delightful.

So I’m up for this challenge of writing a letter a day for a month. Care tells me, after a month of letter writing for her, it’s been a real life changer.

And finally! A reason for all the pretty note paper I can’t resist buying! (Not to mention, justification for buying more …)

Would you like to receive a hand-written letter from me this month? Email me your snail mail address and I’ll add you to my correspondence list!

13 thoughts on “The Art of Correspondence: A Month of Letters

  1. Care

    Especially the excuse to buy MORE pretty paper! I actually have a box of mismatched paper and envelopes – I always have more pretty envelopes than paper to match. I really need to go buy more.

    (I’m also going to dust off my fountain pens for you!)

    Reply
  2. Brette Sember

    I had penpals too and felt exactly the same way. It was a thrill and a treat to send the letters. I never got as many back as I sent though! And all through school I wrote voluminous notes to friends (I guess that doesn’t happen anymore, does it?). For many years I wrote letters to my grandparents in Florida. I miss letters. And I love to read books that are just letters too – but there aren’t that many of them.

    Reply
  3. Memory

    I’m also doing A Month of Letters! I wrote my second this morning as I sipped a cup of tea, and I’m already wicked eager to write tomorrow’s.

    Sending you an e-mail. :)

    Reply
  4. Joy Weese Moll

    I’ve been sending notes or postcards to a troubled niece for a few months. I wanted to communicate my care without adding stress. If I left voice mail or sent email, she would feel an obligation to respond (she probably wouldn’t do it, but the sense of obligation would still be there). But I’d have to be crazy to expect a 20-something to respond to postal mail, so that’s been perfect. I send her a little something and she gets to just enjoy it.

    It’s been a fun remembrance of my pen pal days and of writing letters home in college and after.

    Reply
  5. Bernadette

    What a lovely idea. Every year my sister in law tells me not to send her a present for her birthday but to write her a proper letter instead – when she first married my brother and took him back to the US with her I used to write lots of letters – I was a student then and couldn’t afford the astronomical cost of international phone calls in the 1980’s and there was no such thing as email. Now that phone calls are cheap and emails easy the letter has kind of died but she says she misses the old fashioned rambly, funny letters that I used to send – saving up little anecdotes from daily life to share etc. And I do enjoy writing them too.

    Hope you enjoy your month of letters, I won’t ask for one as I am in the midst of moving house – heaven knows where things will end up over coming weeks as our postal service doesn’t cope well with people moving in my experience.

    Reply
  6. Dorte H

    I wrote plenty of letters when I was young, but these days I loathe even signing the occasional forms it takes to be part of a modern civilization.

    But I have been creative this week; I finished a short story today – and there is even a handwritten letter in it :)

    Reply
  7. natalie @ book, line, and sinker

    i was a huge fan of the pen pal as a kid and these days i do something similar by writing and sending packages to soldiers in the army. i ‘adopted’ two soldiers–both in afghanistan–and i send a letter or card each week and a package of state-side goodies and sundries every few weeks. it’s a worthwhile cause and it keeps me writing! :) good luck with your own letter-writing project. :)

    Reply

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