September is wrapping up and with it our letter-writing challenge. My sister, Amy MacCready at Ink Blot Creative, and I spent the last month challenging ourselves and others to practice the lost art of sending real old-fashioned mail. You know, that thing where your write on actual paper, lick an envelope and add a stamp, and wait whole days for the letter to arrive.
Why would we do something like this? We believe there is something really special about the act of sending meaningful mail; especially in this age of instant messaging and immediate gratification. Plus we both create cards and stationery so we kind of have a special place in our hearts for fun mail.
Amy and I have had some rough patches in our relationship, but running creative small businesses has brought us together in a really special way. That's just one of the things I've appreciated about this challenge. So what else have I learned after this month of letter writing?
1. It's good practice to challenge yourself to something new and keep at it for an extended period of time.
2. I'm not always great at keeping at things (I missed one day, I won't say which), but it's okay to try anyway.
3. Writing letters teaches patience; I may have written the letters, but it takes time for the receiver to read the words; and that's okay.
4. I'm a bit of a stationery hoarder and this was a great opportunity to share some of my stash.
5. I love the feel of real mail; something about how substantial a stamped letter feels is strangely satisfying. You just don't get that when you send a text.
6. It reminded me of old friends near and far. When you've lived as many places as I have, it's good to reflect on the meaningful relationships in your life; and maybe send them a letter, too!
7. It can be a blessing to others. In mail boxes full of junk mail and bills, what a pleasure to receive an actual letter.
8. For me, mailing a letter means walking to the mailbox; and it was a lovely month to do this simple ritual while I watched the changing leaves.
9. It helps connect us in a physical way.
I hope this encourages you in some small way to send some happy mail and brighten someone's day (and maybe learn something along the way)!
Thanks to everyone who participated, and to Jean Opelt who participated and posted every single day. She's the winner of the card giveaway!
In a effort to keep this challenge going in a small way, I'm offering some Letter writing prompts with monthly themes to inspire others to send more mail. Stay tuned for more! (click the underlined words above to get a downloadable version)
Happy letter writing!