I’d like to invite you to participate in the Month of Letters Challenge. Allow me to explain. Two years ago, I took the month of September off from the internet. I needed to escape from distractions. I invited my readers to write me paper letters and I promised that I would write back. To my surprise, people did and I rediscovered a love for letter writing.
Letters allow me to slow down and to focus on just one person. Inspired by this, I issued the Month of Letters Challenge the following February. To my even greater surprise, the challenge spread globally with participants from Alaska to Australia.
When I write back, I find that I slow down and write differently than I do with an email. Email is all about the now. Letters are different, because whatever I write needs to be something that will be relevant a week later to the person to whom I am writing. In some ways it forces me 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.
I have a simple challenge for you.
- 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.
All you are committing to is to mail 23 items. Why 23? There are four Sundays and one US holiday. In fact, you might send more than 23 items. You might develop a correspondence that extends beyond the month.
Write love letters, thank yous, or simply notes to say that you miss an old friend. Let yourself step away from the urgency of modern life and write for an audience of one. You might enjoy going to the mail box again.
Feeling intimidated? It’s fewer words than NaNoWriMo and I know how many of you do that. Join me in The Month of Letters Challenge.
14 thoughts on “The Month of Letters Challenge – 2013”
May we write to you?
Yes, absolutely! My address is in the FAQ, in fact.
Aha! Of course, I asked a question before discovering the FAQ.
My stationary is already delighted that it might get used for more than the occasional thank-you card.
I shall be joining you. What a wonderful idea!
I’m so glad!
What a grand idea.
I actually came across a couple of Australian writers who wrote a contemporary drama in letter form using the postal service and actual paper letters, then posted the letters on a blog. They also posted scans of the actual letters as well.
I’ll send you the link if you are interested.
The story/narrative experiment is called Post Marked: Piper’s Reach they have collated the story into seasons. Season 1 starts at this link https://postmarkedpipersreach.wordpress.com/season-1-letters/. The “making of” and all the other extra material is well worth reading too.
Love this challenge. A friend and I were just talking about this lost form of communication the other day. I’m truly excited for the challenge – only to recognize I no longer have friend’s mailing addresses stored anywhere. Now that is just sad!
Thanks for renewing a beautiful art of correspondance.
You might want to check out http://www.postable.com as a very easy way to gather addresses.
It all starts next Friday and I am ready to go! i hope I can write at least 23 letters again. In February 2012 I wrote 89 so I hope that it is equally good! Good luck to us all and have fun!
Nicely said Mary!
OK, I’m in. This is the second challenge I’ve accepted this year, I’m also doing John Anealio’s “23 in ’13” challenge to create 23… whatevers (art, blog posts, push-ups, etc.). Maybe I’ll limit my challenges to ones that only require 23 things from me.
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