Writing letters and cleaning house: that’s what I did last weekend.
I’ve been taking part in the Month of Letters (http://lettermo.com/, it’s also http://incowrimo.org/) for almost half a month now — really, a whole two weeks, because I started writing on the 29th and mailing on the 30th January.
It’s weird. That’s the short version: It’s really weird. Also, it’s fun, although it’s perhaps, like most things I do, a little too all-consuming.
My letter-writing falls into a few categories:
* Writing to relatives I haven’t seen in a long time, or very rarely in that long time.
* Writing to facebook friends, who are generally IRL people I haven’t seen in a very long time and barely interact with.
* Writing to twitter friends — people I talk to every day on twitter but rarely see in person.
* Writing to people I encountered on the LetterMo site.
* Writing to and/or as fictional people, mostly to real people I know.
* Writing to family I see on a semi-regular basis.
All of these have their own unique challenges, and I’m finding all of them quite interesting for that.
For instance, writing to LetterMo people combines this “getting-to-know-each-other” sort of protocols with a fear of being judged by (and this isn’t really a thing) Professional PenPals (Okay, it might really be a thing, but I don’t know anyone who is). Like, am I doing enough? Is my letter pretty enough? Are there unspoken rules I’m breaking?
And then you add in all of that stress with contacting estranged family — people my father feuded with, or feuded with him, for instance, back when I was in college. Do they even want to hear from me? Do they remember me? My dad has four siblings, a half-sister, and four step-siblings, and almost all of them have kids. That’s a lot of nephews and nieces to keep track of.
(Okay, so there’s a lot of anxiety going on there).
Letters to family, I’ve been trying just to put into the world and let go. If they answer, they answer. If they don’t, I’m no less connected than I was before.
Twitter friends — that’s it’s own challenge. I talk to these people every day, or very near to it. (These people? Many of them are you guys.) What do I say that I wouldn’t share on twitter, or on gchat or in e-mail?
The thing is, for the most part, a little anxiety aside, these are fun challenges. And getting letters back in the mail — that’s amazingly fun. It makes going to the mailbox a blast!
Will I keep writing letters after LetterMo? Well, April is National Letter-Writing Month…
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