a month of letters, or how i love a challenge on the internet

here’s something you may not know about me – i am a sucker for internet challenges. want me to try something new, or develop a better habit in some way or another? if you find a way to post it on the internet as a challenge, i will probably try it. way back in 2005, farmer woob tried to get me to start running. inspiring stories of how she was learning to love running, gentle suggestions that maybe i should get more exercise, offers to take me out on a run to show me how fun it could be – none of that convinced me. when i discovered that the couch to 5K program was not only posted on the internet but had a whole website and forum community where people publicly posted and reported on their progress – then, and only then, did i agree to start running.

i’ve posted here about brooklyn homesteader’s bread challenge, which i haven’t been religious about meeting every week (or posting about), but has definitely resulted in me baking more bread. i follow @janeespenson on twitter and get excited about her group writing sprints every single time i join her in one, even though my day job is essentially all writing, all the time. i set up an account at the concept2 rowing website just so i could participate in the knotty knitters virtual team challenge on the rowing machine at the gym in january (and look at that – there’s a february challenge, too!)

so, when i found out today that author mary robinette kowal has organized a month of letters challenge this february, i was powerless to resist. i haven’t signed up for an account on her site (yet) but i sent my first letter out in the mail today. i’m not going to bore you with some diatribe on how email and facebook have destroyed the gentle art of letter-writing or rhetorical questions like ‘what happened to the good old days when the post came with something other than junk mail and bills?’ suffice to say – it’s an internet challenge and i am in.

i can already think of plenty of people to write to. to start, i have five nephews and a niece, though not all of them can read yet. i have a best friend who’s having a rough time right now and is pretty lonely and another friend who gets so much email that she’d probably love forever a person who actually forces her to slow down long enough to read a hand-written letter. and since i find it inexplicably weird that my grandmother is on facebook, i’m going to increase my postal communication with her so i don’t have to think too much about what she might see on a grandchild’s ‘wall.’

if anyone wants to join me in participating in february’s month of letters, share your plan in the comments. and if you feel like exchanging actual letters with me, feel free to send me your postal address via the ‘contact’ link at the top of this page.

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3 Responses to a month of letters, or how i love a challenge on the internet

  1. Melissa (SheCrochets) says:

    What a fabulous idea. I’m going to share this with my son, who’s tech free except on weekends right now. I wish you luck in your challenge. I’ve no doubt you can do it!

  2. cubbyholes says:

    You would love Moreloveletters.com then. Check it out. Awesome idea! Jeanie

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