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Download the 2013 Month of Letters Calendar

LetterMoPlanningCalendar2013

As the New Year begins, it’s time to start thinking about the Month of Letters Challenge. To help you organize your thoughts, we have a calendar.

If you are looking for a way to organize your Month of Letters Challenge, we have a calendar for you.

2012 Participant Richelle had said,

“I printed up a calendar and am filling in the days with people I want to write! I have a big stash of stationary I am hoping I can finally use. I may have to break the rules and send more than one a day. So many people I want to write!”

That was a brilliant idea, so I made a calendar page that you can print out to help plan your letter writing. (By the way, it’s not breaking the rules to send more than one thing a day.)

Download the Month of Letters Planning Calendar 2013  as a pdf. Thanks for the suggestion, Richelle.

 

Stamps increase in the US on January 27, 2013

Make sure you stock up on forever stamps before the Month of Letters Challenge begins. In the U.S. rates go up on the 27th of January, so get thee to the post office by the 26th.

Highlights of the new single-piece First-Class Mail pricing, effective Jan. 27, 2013 include:

  • Letters (1oz.) — 1-cent increase to 46 cents
  • Letters additional ounces — unchanged at 20 cents
  • Letters to all international destinations (1oz.) — $1.10
  • Postcards — 1-cent increase to 33 cents

The new forums are here!

Cautiously… I believe that the forums are now functional. I’m hoping that we’ll be able to restore the forum posts from last year but that’s still a work in progress.

For the moment, if you registered last year, your account should still be present, but you’ll need to log-in for it to show up on the participant list. Please update your mailing address while you’re at it. Those will only be visible to logged-in participants but still be smart and only put in information that is you are comfortable having publicly available. A good rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t want it in the phone book, don’t post it.

The forum for penpal exchange is only visible to signed in participants. The rest are publicly visible.

 

The Month of Letters, now on Google Plus

The thing about the Month of Letters Challenge is that it shows you what different forms of communication are good for. Letters allow you to slow down and think about just one person at a time. The internet allows you to communicate instantly with vast numbers of people. There are times when that is a darn useful thing. So… I’ve started a Google Plus community for The Month of Letters Challenge.

It’s another way to try to connect with people who are excited about writing letters. Let me know how it works for you.

Sprucing up the site for the 2013 Month of Letters Challenge

Last year, I did not expect the enthusiasm we got with the inaugural Month of Letters Challenge. I put the site together in a blinding hurry and it got us though the first challenge. For 2013, I want to have a more robust site for you to play with. So… that means I’m working on getting upgraded Forums and making the site more robust in general. For the moment, that means the forums are offline.

If you are new, you can still register and so you can be ready for the 2013 challenge.

Post Month of Letters blues

Now what? Yesterday, the Month of Letters Challenge ended. There are still letters flying to and fro which you’ll get today, tomorrow or next week. It’s nice to know that some of this letter writing has planted seeds and turned into actual correspondence.

Some people have asked me if they can keep doing this all year. Yes! Of course. There’s a neat challenge called 52 Weeks of Mail that challenges you to mail something once a week. After what you did in February, that ought to be a snap.

As for me, I plan to continue writing to people but at a more leisurely pace.  The habit has been formed.

It’s been fun this month.

Now…What I want really to know is: what do you want for next year?

I’m definitely planning on issuing the challenge again next February. So what is your wish list for the Month of Letters Challenge 2013?

The Last Day of the Month of Letters!

Did you succeed? Have a badge to celebrate.

It’s the last day of the Month of Letters Challenge. Congratulations! You mailed at least 24 things.

I have been amazed by how many people dived into this challenge. So many people said that this was the first time they’ve written a letter in years. What made you want to join in? Has it been satisfying?

For me, it has been amazing. I’ve connected with friends that I don’t see often enough. I’ve started correspondences with new people. And I’ve carved out a tiny spot of calm in every day where I focus on just one thing at a time. It has been wonderful.

I’m planning on carrying on writing letters all year. And next February? We’ll do this again. Oh, yes we will.

And now, let me close by quoting Emily Post on How to End a Letter.

ENDING A LETTER

Just as the beginning of a letter should give the reader an impression of greeting, so should the end express friendly or affectionate leave-taking. Nothing can be worse than to seem to scratch helplessly around in the air for an idea that will effect your escape. 19
“Well, I guess I must stop now,” “Well, I must close,” or, “You are probably bored with this long epistle, so I had better close.” 20
All of these are as bad as they can be, and suggest the untutored man who stands first on one foot and then on the other, running his finger around the brim of his hat, or the country girl twisting the corner of her apron. 21

HOW TO END A LETTER

An intimate letter has no end at all. When you leave the house of a member of your family, you don’t have to think up an especial sentence in order to say good-by. Leave-taking in a letter is the same:
“Good-by, dearest, for to-day

 

The Penultimate day

It’s the penultimate day of the Month of Letters Challenge. At this point, you should have sent a minimum of 23 letters. How are you doing?

Personally, I’ve found that sending letters every day has become habit forming. Will I send them every day from here on out? Probably not daily, because life does happen. My husband and I are moving in April, for instance. But given how comforting I’ve found it to sit down with pen and paper, I can’t imagine that I’ll miss many days.

I’ve seen a lot of people online saying that they wished this challenge ran all year long. You know what? There’s something called 52 Weeks of Mail, which challenges you to send at least one piece of mail per week. You guys have that down pat.

And you? As we sit here with one day left in the challenge, what habits have you developed?

The final week

In the U.S. we’ve just had the President’s Day holiday which meant two whole days without the mail running. That should have given you a chance to catch up or even get ahead on your mail. At this point, you should have sent out seventeen missives.

I found that,even though I knew the mail would not run yesterday, or the day before, that I wanted to write some letters anyway. Having the moment in my day when I sit down and focus on only one thing, is soothing. Having that point of focus be someone else, seems to help get me out of my own head and make a little space of clarity, even if I am sending only a postcard.

So how is it going for you as we enter the final week of Month of Letters Challenge?

 

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