January 26, 2011

The Letter Project

At the end of December, I decided to write one letter per day to a friend away from home for a month.

It's been years since I've written letters.  Nowadays, it's email, or text.  My friend didn't have phone OR computer.  So I set out to go back in time and write--the old fashioned way, snail mail.  I was surprised to find I loved the challenge.

I wrote her a letter at lunch.  Polished and sent it off by 4:00.  Then when my kids were doing homework, I decorated my envelope for the next day.

My friend is coming home today so my project is over.  But writing to her was such a stretch from my daily writing that I've decided to continue sending letters to someone once a week. Daily was a bit consuming, but weekly would be more manageable.

This project helped me by letting me see my daily activities through the lens of antidotes and insight I could share.  It also opened my eyes to the little details I so often skim; moments that make us who we are. (She couldn't write me back, so it was a one-sided conversation; not too different from a blog post)

This made me wonder if any of my friends in Bloggiland would like to join me on this venture. I'm thinking I will send a letter off by Wednesday of each week and then blog about what I wrote/sent/painted OR who I chose to send to on Thursdays. If you would like to join me and want to blog about it, I would add a link to your post.  If you need help deciding on a person to send to, I could post different types of people each week to give you a prompt (nursing home resident, teacher, etc.).

How about it?  Anyone want to join?


  1. Ooh I'd love to join!

    I consider myself an old soul and wish I would've been born much earlier when life was slower paced and technology hadn't taken over all forms of communication.

    Plus writing letters reminds me of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Such a good book. :)

  2. I think this sounds like a great idea. I might join you. Are we starting next week? Snail mail is its own art. I thought of you decorating the envelopes, adding a personal touch, your art. Cool.

  3. Karen Amanda, I like that you're "an old soul". Yay! You're on the list! :D

    Mary, awesome! Yes, we'll start next week. Decorating definitely added tons of fun!

  4. What an amazing project! I have a friend who occasionally sends me a newspaper clip or a note, and it's always so much fun to find something besides ads and bills in the mailbox.
    I'm not sure if I could do it every week, but I can think of a list of people I'd love to surprise with a letter.
    This makes me smile.

  5. I won't be able to join the letter writers, but I like how the act of writing the letters really brought to mind the details of your life you otherwise might have missed. I could see this as a great tool as a writing exercise, too, in working on a manuscript.

  6. Tricia, yes something other than ads and bills is so exciting. I'm glad this made you smile. You certainly wouldn't be required to do it every week, just whenever you want to, I could link to your post.

    Joanne, yes I think it would be a good tool. Description is hard for me, so it gave me a reason to notice what I normally pass over.

  7. Letters! So much fun to write and get!

    This reminds me of Carolyn See's challenge for writers to send out two "charming notes" a day to their favorite authors.

    The first one I sent was to my writing partner.

  8. Aww this is so sweet! It reminds me of when my husband was in the Navy. There's no email at boot camp so I sent a letter or two a day. Even though the ship had email, he couldn't always get to a computer and loved being the guy with the most mail, so I kept it up! There was definitely something special about putting pen to paper and giving him my thoughts :)

  9. wow i dont think my hand could write that much

  10. Jennie, that's true! How sweet that your first one was to your writing partner.

    Diana, I BET he loved that! My Dad still treasures the letters Mom wrote him in Vietnam.

    Shelli, well...I must admit I cheated a little. My letters were not ALL handwritten.


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