Blog > A Month of Letters Challenge
On September 2011, Mary Robinette Kowal decided it was time for a break. She spent the entire month offline, and asked her friends to communicate with her through letters. The results of this personal challenge were a revelation:
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.
How so? I find that I will often read the letters that I receive twice. Once when I get them and again as I write back. So, that makes it more lasting. It is more ephemeral because I don’t have copies of the letters that I write and I am the only one who has copies of the letters that my correspondents write. So, more ephemeral.
I know a lot of postcrossers share these feelings – this is part of the reason why Postcrossing exists!
Mary’s decided to turn February into a Month of Letters, in which she challenges herself and everyone who decides do join to write and send at least a piece of postal mail every day. Here are the rules:
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.
We can’t help but feeling postcrossers have their work cut out for them in this challenge… :) Nevertheless, we wanted to dare you all to do it! Write postcards, letters or aerogrammes or surprise a friend with an unexpected package. Maybe even pick a Facebook/Twitter friend and send them with an offline “hello!”.
Are you up to Mary’s challenge? Grab your stationery and stamps and start writing! :)
PS – Scrutiny set up a forum post for members who are doing this challenge to keep track of their progress!