30 letters in 30 days: the tally

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What do the Dalai Lama, Dame Judi Dench, and US President Barack Obama have in common? They all received a letter from me last month. (I can’t tell you why I wrote to these good folks because the interviews I sent are part of a surprise for a friend and she sometimes reads this blog. You’ll just have to use your imagination.)

I’m proud to say that I met and even surpassed the "30 letters in 30 days” challenge I joined for the month of April. I know a lot of people associate me with snail mail and therefore think this might not have been that big a deal but, when you consider that some people have had to wait as long as six months to receive a letter or reply from me (yes! I’m so sorry!) you’ll see why I’m proud of reaching this goal.

How do you write letters? Normally I prefer to wait to write and send my mail when I have an extended batch of "me-time," so that I can really put some thought into it and give it my full attention. However, those batches of time are few and far between these days.

It was quite a different discipline to force myself to write and post mail every day during April, even if it meant writing during stolen moments at the kitchen bench, waiting for the children’s spaghetti to cook. Some of my letters had little splotches of food or ink or toddler fingers on them, and I hope the recipients will forgive me and know it meant I was prioritising writing to them, no matter what.

Here’s who I wrote to last month:

2 x letters to Mr B (one from me, and a postcard from Scout, while he was overseas)

1 x letter to a family friend who we haven’t seen in a while

1 x parcel of tea for a lovely woman in Norway (pictured above)

2 x bundled up gifts to the children of a blog reader (also pictured above)

20 x mail-art packages for blog readers

12 x snail-mail interviews to Dame Judi Dench, the Dalai Lama, Barack Obama and ‘friends’

1 x letter to Ralph’s daycare teacher

Grand total: 39 letters in 30 days. Huzzah!

Writing this way was actually a good process in self-discipline and, as the weeks went by, I found it easier to sit and write just for a short time, rather than needing the long blocks of time I usually prefer. Because it became easier to write piecemeal, I started to get through a whole lot more mail as the month went on. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still WAY behind in the letters I need to send to you lovely people, but I’ve made a good dent in the “to mail” pile.

Did you join this challenge? How did you go?

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