By now some of you may be starting to receive mail from other participants. I want to remind you that the second part of the Challenge is to reply to everything you receive. In many ways a reply is easier than writing first, but I want to address a couple of points that will make life easier for your recipient.
- Make sure your return address is clear. It’s how I know who to write back to.
- Include your first and last name somewhere on the letter or envelope.
- Refer to the date of the letter you received.
Let me explain more about that last. Because postal mail is time-delayed, it’s like a little capsule containing a moment of the past. In old letters you’ll often see them start off with, “Thank you for your letter of 3 February…” After doing the Month of Letters Challenge last year, I realized why that is so important. It tells the recipient when they last wrote to you, which makes it ever so much easier to know which things you’ve already talked about and what is new.
Also look for any questions that you’ve been asked and repeat it back, at least in a paraphrased form. “You asked about puppetry…” Then answer the question. Partially, this serves as a transition, but it also helps them remember what they asked.
Make sure you ask a question as well, just as you would in a regular conversation.