…that is the question. I’m sitting in my hotel room in Frazer, Pennsylvania with noisy sleet banging on my window. The plan was to sleep in while the snow enveloped the world outside. Oh well. Before I sit down at the desk in my room and start letter writing, I thought I’d wax on about National Letter Writing Month which begins in just 17 days. I’ve had quite a few people tell me they are thinking about doing the #write_on challenge in April but they don’t know who they would write to or if they can really write a letter every day with all the commitments they have in their life.
Science says that it takes 21 days to create a habit – a good one or a bad one. If you have longed to send more mail and receive more mail, April might just be the time for you to create the excellent habit of writing letters. What this really means is creating the space in your life to do something you love which will spread love to others. It doesn’t mean you have to write a letter every day for the rest of your life. But what it will do is create a special feeling for you that will make you crave sitting down with a favorite drink and connecting with someone special or even someone you don’t know.
So to whom will you write? Jot down the names of your 5 favorite people – those are the first people you write to. Even if they live next door – send them a card. Next jot down the names of 5 people who did something nice for you recently – they get a thank you note – those are next five people you write to. Do you celebrate Easter or just like bunnies? Easter falls on April 16th – right in the middle of National Letter Writing Month. You’re getting the picture here.
The trick to succeeding at any goal, be it weight loss or a 30 day letter writing challenge, is being prepared. So you need stationery (I can help with this!), stamps, and pens. The USPS has just released some of the most beautiful stamps in it’s history – Oscar de La Renta and WPA Poster stamps. They make anyone want to send mail. You may have all the stationery and cards in your home right now, heck I write letters on shopping bags. So grab them and put them all in one place – a basket or box or pouch -so you are ready to go.
When will you write? Ahhhh time, that elusive creature. I tend to write quick notes during the week and long letters on weekends, usually at one of my favorite coffee shops in Tribeca (in the summer it’s Laughing Man owned by Hugh Jackman #swoon). I bring my cards and pens in my letter writing pouch, order my favorite iced tea and get cozy. If I’m at home, I sit at my Carrie Bradshaw desk, light a candle and again get cozy. I love writing in both places but the trick here is to make it cozy. Letter writing is the ultimate YOU time…..recharge time that is spent with a friend. Lord Byron said it best “Letter writing is the only device for combining solitude with good company”. Luckily, National Letter Writing Month begins on a Saturday so you will have two days to start strong. And if you know you have a few busy days in the upcoming week, you can write a few ahead.
To keep track or not to keep track – that is the final question. I designed my 30 Days of Letters kit to include a rubber stamp so that each letter you send can be stamped and numbered so the recipient knows what number they are in the 30 Day challenge. Or so you can take pics of your outgoing mail and post them to social media. Some people have told me that they will also use the stamp to keep track of a reading challenge they are doing. Keeping track is not essential. They key is connecting to your loved ones. Showing them that you honor your relationship with them enough to take the time to send a handwritten note.
Now I’m going to close the computer and write someone a letter!
Until the next note, Rhea