A friend posted on Instagram that she was challenged to participate in “InCoWriMo,” and to pm her to receive a hand-written note. I signed right up.
Then I looked up InCoWriMo –
InCoWriMo is the short name for International Correspondence Writing Month, otherwise known as February.
With an obvious nod to NaNoWriMo for the inspiration, InCoWriMo challenges you to hand-write and mail/deliver one letter, card, note or postcard every day during the month of February.
Personal notes take me back to receiving and sending notes in my childhood. I remember getting notes from my grandmother that started with “Julie Dear,” instead of “Dear Julie.” In my mind, my grandmother was very fancy because she had a typewriter (with the changeable ball for different fonts [though I’m not sure they were called fonts back then]) and typed the letters. The only handwriting was her signature at the end. We always sent thank you notes (much to my chagrin) and even letters from sleep away camp or if a friend moved away.
Diane’s note arrived about two weeks after I signed up, and I decided I had to do this too! The videos on the InCoWriMo site were helpful. Ultimately I decided they were really just to hold my hand to get started. They didn’t tell me anything new though it was nice to see people having a conversation about personal correspondence, like bringing back old traditions in a modern context.
As I like beating to a different drum, or really because I found out about it late, I decided to start in March, after ordering new note cards.
So it’s been 9 days.
On my way home from work I start to think about the person to whom I’m going to write and what I’d like to share. I come into my home, get my mail, leaf through it, put my things down, write the person’s name on my writing calendar, grab a note card, an envelope, and the object in which I have the person’s address (my phone or an address book), sit down at the kitchen counter, write the note, address the envelope, put a stamp on it, put it in my purse sticking out so I remember to mail it on my way to work the next day.
When I come home, I say in my mind, “Hi Honey, I’m home!” and the house answers me back with a greeting. Now, I also sit down and actually talk to someone via my writing. After I prepare it for mailing, I get to live with the anticipation of having it arrive at the person’s home and surprising them with a hand-written personal note. Then I get a nice feeling thinking about making them smile, and hopefully feeling appreciated that someone took the time to write and send them a letter. I hope they feel touched that I reached out to them and shared my life.
Sending a hand-written note is the short version of knitting a gift for someone. You think of them while you’re deciding what project to do, what yarn, what colors. You’re thinking of them as you knit. You’re thinking of them while you’re preparing to give it. The whole object is wrapped up in your thoughts of them.
Texts are good but phone calls are even better. A hand-written note, well, it has its own category.
If you would like me to send you a hand-written note, please email me your name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org.