Oh my goodness! So, I've discovered something called InCoWriMo via Instagram that I must share with you all particularly if you are a lover of all things analogue and love sending and receiving hand written letters. Yes, a HAND WRITTEN letter. I know, it's something that I wish was more common these days.
I came across InCoWriMo by pure chance whilst scrolling the Gram. I follow a fountain pen and hand writing enthusiast @janinescribbles and came across her post about it and decided to check out to see what it was all about.
You can read more about it on the official InCoWriMo website but in a nutshell InCoWriMo is the abbreviation for International Correspondence Writing Month which is February.
"InCoWriMo challenges you to hand-write and mail/deliver one letter, card, note or postcard every day during the month of February."
I know I'm writing this post and we're already into the month of Feb, but it doesn't matter. The point of it all is to encourage people to pick up a pen and write and it doesn't have to be a long letter, it can be a postcard or note too.
I appreciate the speed at which we can all connect with each other in this modern age and how easy it is to reach out and say hi to family and friends on the other side of the world but who would agree with me that sitting down with pure intention and the time and space to pen a letter by hand comes from a totally different space to bashing out an email or text message? Don't get me wrong, I love receiving an email or text from peeps that I haven't heard from in a while but what I love the most is receiving mail that's travelled across water and land and been penned by hand because I know the person that's written it has taken the time and made the effort to physically write it. I truly appreciate that they have chosen TIME over convenience because let's face it, time in this modern age is something super valuable and a hand penned letter takes a little longer and is more considered in my opinion and I Iove that human connection between the hand, the pen, the paper. It's more real, if that makes sense, I suppose because it's a letter it's a physical, tangible thing, the paper, the ink and not a digital dot that exists but doesn't because you can't hold it in your hands. I love the whole ritual of seeing it on the doorstep, opening the envelope with anticipation, unfolding the pages to see what's there. It's the physical connection that's so beautiful.
HOW WILL I WRITE 28 LETTERS IN 28 DAYS YOU ASK??
Don't say you don't have time to write 28 letters! LOL
At first, I too thought, no, I won't be able to find the time to write 28 letters this month so I'm doing what I've recently learned to do more of and that is to break this goal down into manageable chunks.
I am going to write a mix of letters to a handful of beautiful people that I wish I corresponded with more and the rest will be postcards and notes. I love InCoWriMo's idea of leaving a friendly or encouraging letter/note for a stranger in a coffee shop or on the bus for them to discover. I think that's a beautiful idea and it means you don't have to spend any pennies mailing them if you're short of cash and your words could just make a stranger's day.
TIPS AND WHO TO WRITE TO:
1. Choose 5 people in my life I wish I corresponded with more and write a heartfelt letter to each - this is what I will spend the most time on, 5 evenings this month is a fair amount of precious time to enjoy writing to 5 people I love in 5 different countries across the globe.
2. Pick 10 random people that I don't know from the InCoWriMo address list - these are people who are getting involved and writing and want to be written to, and to send them a postcard with some of my favourite inspirational quotes or just a positive message.
3. Leave 5 notes in public places with a positive message for the reader - a coffee shop, the squash club where I do a fitness class, the venue where I do yoga, in a changing room in one of my fave stores in town and my fave light bulb idea, in between the pages of a book in a stationary or book store! I'm a genius :)
4. Choose 8 people in my family and circle of acquaintances and friends that I see regularly that I can drop off a cute, uplifting or thoughtful message to.
5. Something extra special! I found some old letters and cards from a dear friend who wrote the best letters and made the best cards so I think I'm going to go that extra mile and send them one of my mini leather bound journals :)
That all adds up to 28 and actually sounds achievable.
InCoWriMo has got me all reminiscent about the hand written notes and letters I used to get from the international friends that I made many moons ago when I went to study in Helsinki, Finland. That was back in the day when the world felt like a much bigger place and the internet was still new to me. Snail mail was the way to go back then and I remember the excitement when I used to see international mail arrive for me from countries I dreamed of visiting and people I'd made connections with but didn't know if I'd see again.
I dug out some of those letters and cards and there were some gems in there that gave me some inspiration, check them out below. I had some very creative friends!
I'm getting my writing game on (and catching up as it's already day 9 today!), Why don't you join in too and let's spread some positivity and love?