Spring is here and with it comes one of my favorite aspirational months. April is National Letter Writing Month!
I was introduced to this April phenomenon through the Write_On Campaign, the brain child of a couple stationery lines that inspire me. In 2014 Egg Press and Hello!Lucky kicked off the campaign to encourage themselves, their staff, customers, friends, and followers to write 30 letters in the 30 days of April.
You own a stationery store, Kiley, that should be so easy. I agree, it should be. But alas, like many of you, my letters and cards have a tendency to sit on my desk unwritten and unsent. I have many excuses for this- none of them that compelling. So, for me, pairing correspondence with FOMO is a great motivator to keep my mail carrier busy.
I know I won't be missing out on the truly special practice of letter writing while following the #write_on community. I'm seeing beautiful decorated snail mail on social media (and hopefully, in my mailbox... hint hint.) and enjoying the writing prompts, ideas, and inspiration.
If you're not feeling the itch to go put pen to paper yet, here's a few of the benefits I gained from participating in last April's 30 Letters in 30 Days Write On Challenge.
Unplug A Little
Not like I have to tell you, but we all spend a little too much time looking at screens. Everything we consume is so fast-paced and media based that unplugging can be a mystical cure all.
Letter writing was a great respite from all the noise. If only for the time it took to write one letter, I experienced meaningful engagement with some of my favorite people and slowed down enough to savor the connection.
Pro tip, I found that the best times to be present were after getting up and after yoga or a workout.
Thanks to the guidance of many seasoned letter writers, I felt abundantly lucky before I had written a single letter. At their advice I began the month with a letter writing ledger. Basically, a list of everyone I was going to write in April. Some would receive birthday cards or cards related to a specific event, but others were simply people who I thought didn't get a lot of snail mail and might love it. The simple act of taking stock of the characters in my life was enough to bask in the warmth of gratitude.
Don't get me wrong, I have plenty of creative outlets, but few that lead me to get out crayons, markers, and washi tape. Anything goes here. I get a thrill decorating something that will surprise someone when they open the mailbox. Also, the joy they feel knowing someone was thinking of them and sent a little of themselves to them. Handwriting and doodles are a beautiful way to give a voice to your correspondence. They tell a different story than an email or a post. They deliver a little of you and your imprint.
* BONUS You get mail back!!!! And this mail won't be a bill. Or a political flyer. Or a circular ad. It very well might be a perfect little time capsule.
So whether you send a single letter or aim for one a day, I encourage you to write, draw, collage, send a little snail mail.
If your snail mail makes you feel proud, we'll delight in your triumphs too! Use #period6studio and #write_on to share it with us.