Less than a week to go before February is here, and I’m so excited since February is the “Month of Letters.” Instituted by author Mary Robinette Kowal, it’s a time of getting back to writing good old postal mail, taking the time away from the keyboard and monitor, the smartphone, or whatever electronic gadget you use, and put pen to paper while composing your thoughts more slowly. It brings joy to the writer, and to the recipient who finds something happily unexpected in his or her mailbox.
I spend far too much time on my computer and other electronic communications-related devices. Other than Christmas and birthday cards, I send and receive almost no personal mail, but I remember the joy of getting mail when I was younger. I’ve kept some letters from people who are now dead and gone. Re-reading those postcards and letters brings back their love and voice for a few moments, reminds me of so many wonderful things. But who prints out and saves email? Or text messages?
In the Month of Letters, people commit to sending one letter, note or card a day that the post office is open. It’s a short month, including one holiday, so really it’s not as bad as you might think. There is a website where you can sign up for community and support, find others needing someone to write to (or receive letters from), and generally communicate a love of all things written. There are fun things, too, like the badge at the top of this post.
Of course, no one is judging whether you write every day, and there are no penalties or prizes. Just a sense of happiness at being part of something larger, a slower savoring of words that brings happiness to many. Join me if you’d like.