I wish that I could motivate myself to write a letter a day, and I'm thinking that maybe if I write about it here and you join me that we can encourage one another along.
You see, there was a time when I actually did write a letter just about every day. Back in the dating days, Ben [aka Reggie D.] was in London. I was in Atlanta. We were in love and he was pretty much all I could think about. So we wrote letters. Lots of them. And did I mention that he is a writer? I was in awe and slightly intimidated by his letters at the beginning. Here's a sample sentence from his first letter to me [and it was hard to pick one sentence out of the letter because his letters are written like stories]:
I have made it back to England, where, at first glance, men and women walk feverishly down the city streets with their heads down as if counting all their steps and carry bags with valuable valuable valuable accounts of the days' gettings and spendings and dispose a look that believes perhaps tomorrow will be the reward for today's labor; at first glance, men and women sit and stand on top of one another in the underground train as the fluorescent lights flicker to illuminate the first beads of sweat on the forehead of a balding man and the white knuckles of a young man rubbing his eyes, the train jolting and weaving beneath the city; at first glance, the man next to you on the bus is scribbling revisions on a proposal surely due in twenty minutes time, while outside the window bicycles and motorcycles and taxis weave in and out like the workings of a great concrete and metal loom...
He goes on to talk about what you see at second glance, but you get the idea. And it wasn't all so serious either -- I got to hear later about the "hot dog dog" at the park that bit his ankles while he was running.
My response was something like "Dear Ben, Weather is good. I am fine. How are you?" Hopefully it was better than that, but nothing close to what he had going on! He did make me a better letter writer, though.
I also discovered how therapeutic it is to sit and write someone. Even when they are far away, it's as if you are having a heartfelt conversation with them. And there's something about a letter that captures that moment in time. Linsey wrote an awesome post on letter writing last week, and one part that particularly resonated with me was when she mentioned the power of even just seeing the handwriting of someone. That's so true for me; it's almost like you get to keep a piece of them forever after they are gone.
So, I've decided that for the entire month of May I'm going to write a letter every weekday. Will you join me? It doesn't have to be long -- even just a postcard to say "hello." And I'm not going to be strict -- if you have to go out of town or something you can write more on another day. The point is to connect with people in a way that shows you took the time to sit down and write to them. I've already got a list going!
*AND AS BONUS INCENTIVE, if you leave a comment and let me know you're in, you'll be entered to win a set of custom address labels [one of the three designs pictured above; you choose whatever colors you want!], enough to get you through the month! I'll choose a commenter at random this Friday.