Saturday, 2 January 2021

Happy new year.

Well, farewell 2020 and hello 2021. 

One of the surprising things about the pandemic is how much more I have enjoyed writing letters. I do my best communicating through the written word. Letters are something to hold. They can also hug. Electronic missives and perhaps phone calls demand to be dealt with there and then. A letter is patient; it has to be. 

One question I get asked is, "Where do I find people to write to?" There are many websites out there offering penpal-matching, or profile browsing, to find penpals, for free or paid. There are websites associated with snail mail projects where you can also look for penfriends. Some of my lovely penpals have come from barely having anything more than an address to write to, through a project called InCoWriMo. I've written about INternational COrrespondence WRIting MOnth before. But it is almost that time of year again, for this project fills February with letters. The challenge is to write a letter a day.

Another question I get asked is, "What do I write about in letters?" While some topics can be a bit of a taboo or more uncomfortable to write about (e.g. religion, politics, the private side of life), almost anything else goes. Postcrossing has a monthly writing prompt, if you are stuck for something to write about on a postcard (this month, what skill would you like to learn?). A World of Snail Mail offers another suggestion: Five Questions, Answer by Snail Mail where questioners supply 5 Questions, and people can write their answers in a missive. 

A World of Snail Mail has come up with something else if you want to take part in Incowrimo but can't manage a whole letter-a-day to send? Maybe you could compromise and do this challenge instead. It doesn't matter if you can't do it every day. The main thing is to enjoy writing letters.

28 challenges for this month, one for each day. When writing a letter, please answer the question or use the writing prompt or do the task for that day. The letter need not be finished that day.

1st: Write a sentence with your eyes closed
2nd: Do you have any pictures hanging on your wall(s)?
3rd: Writing prompt: time
4th: Doodle the weather
5th: What are you looking forward to this year?
6th: What are the best 3 things about where you live?
7th: Writing prompt: games/sports
8th: Write a sentence with your non-dominant hand
9th: Where do you imagine you will be this time next year?
10th: Writing prompt: gardening
11th: If you had an autobiography, what would its title be?
12th: What is your best member of childhood?
13th: What is the weather like?
14th: Have you written Valentine's cards to pets (or even received one from a pet)?
15th: What are three of your favourite films?
16th: What book(s) are you in the middle of?
17th: What has made you smile recently?
18th: Write a sentence backwards
19th: What time do you have breakfast?
20th: Writing prompt: radio
21st: Doodle some eyes
22nd: What is a favourite quote from fiction?
23rd: Do you keep a diary or journal or scrapbook?
24th: Writing prompt: spring
25th: Have you written any poetry or verse?
26th: Writing prompt: music
27th: Do you volunteer for good causes?
28th: When did you send your first ever email?

Goulet Pens and others do writing prompts for types of people to write letters to.

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