Well… It’s Saturday. It’s the first day of Spring Break. I’d like to say that means my productivity will go way up and I’ll blog every day and write a few “extra” posts to have around for those days I don’t feel like working on this thing. I somehow doubt I’ll go all blog ninja on the thing this week, but I did want to consider letters.
Letter writing is really the precursor to blogging for me… In other words, I meant to write letters regularly but let other things distract me from that effort. Writing letters has always been kind of a romantic notion to me. Not like the “romantic” boy meets girl and woos her from across the miles with elegantly written letters ala Norman McLean . It’s more of a notion that I want to take a few minutes to communicate with another person viscerally… taking the time to write down whatever is on my mind and then send it in a medium that expresses the care that went into the communication itself.
The interesting thing to me is that it isn’t even simply about the communication. It is about the artistry of the the hand written letter. Of all of the things I treasure, some of the most important are the things that someone took the time to write and send or deliver in some way. Notes, letters, cards… all carry, for me, a specialness that I can not ascribe to an e-mail or Facebook message. While the electronic counterparts are special for their words, the other, the pen to paper versions are worthy of being kept in special places to be held, reviewed, turned over and felt.
As I was thinking about how important letters have been to me, I was also thinking about a TED talk I was watching the other day. The talk was given by a guy named Matt Cutts and he’s talking about trying something new for 30 days. In his talk he mentions the potential to write a novel (or at least enough words to comprise a novel) in 30 days. That started me thinking about how it would probably also be possible to write a letter each day for 30 days… and then see what happens. Honestly, I’m already procrastinating on this one. It’s going to be a lot of work and I already committed to a 30 day challenge in April (I imagine there will be more to come about that so stay tuned). So I’m thinking about making May a month for writing letters. Here is my strategy (I am only sharing it in case someone reading this would like to join me.)
For $20 dollars I was able to procure a set of linen paper and matching envelopes. I am fond of Uniball Signio 207 pens and I set aside 30 stamps. Total for materials $35.
The hardest thing about this whole project is going to be to decide who to write to. My solution: Print the names of the people I know have current addresses in my address book and draw one each day. I have 227 contacts in my address book for whom I believe I have correct contact information.
I am setting aside 45 minutes each day to write. If I finish early, great. If I do not finish in 45 minutes I am making myself finish before I go to bed. No excuses. Not finished? no sleep!. (That’s Cutts idea).
In the comments section I’d invite you to share your thoughts on letters. Also, if you think you might like to take the 30 day letter writing challenge, let me know. Maybe I’d even write to you.