So here is the skinny...
Last September, Mary Robinette Kowal took a month off from the internet. During her vacation, she told people that they could correspond with her by paper letter. Some people did. Some people still are. Every letter delights her.
When Mary writes back, she finds that she slows down and writes differently than she does with an email. Email is all about the now. Letters are different, because whatever is written needs to be something that will be relevant a week later to the person to whom you are writing. In some ways it forces her 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? Mary finds that she will often read the letters that she has received twice. Once when she gets them and again as she writes back. So, that makes it more lasting. It is more ephemeral because she don’t make or keep copies of the letters that she writes and she is the only one who has copies of the letters that her correspondents write. So, more ephemeral.
When was the last time you got a letter in the mail? December sees a lot of mail and you remember that sense of delight when the first card arrives. You can have that more often.
So Mary has a simple challenge for us all:
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.
So all that you are committing to is to mail 24 items. Why 24? There are four Sundays and one US holiday. In fact, you might send more than 24 items. You might develop a correspondence that extends beyond the month. You might enjoy going to the mail box again.
Mary has a little blog that you all can check out that is dedicated to this challenge. On this blog you can sign-up and register your participation in The Challenge and pick up the blog badge that she has provided. You can also download a calendar and some participant stickers to help you get organized and to keep track of all your letters to be mailed...so sweet ;}
I'll be slipping my calendar inside of my Scrapbook Journal Life notebook since I've been using it as my creative agenda and journal this year...so love this! Why take on another "thing to do" you may be asking? Well it's simple really...I love to write and receive letters and I feel that it's something that we simply do not do enough of. And it really doesn't take that much time to write a quick note (or a postcard even :) letting people know that you are thinking about them. The bottom line is that...this is about the recipients and making them feel better...it's not about me. I have a ton of older relatives that do not even use or have access to computers and/or cell phones with texting, etc. The only time they ever hear from me is once a year when I send out my holiday newsletters. This is about them and bringing them a little bit of JOY. After all...it's the little things in life...that can sometimes make the biggest differences.
How about it...are you joining The A Month of Letters Challenge?
Be sure to leave a comment and let me know if you are and if you would like to added to my list of recipients.