Saturday, February 3, 2018

It's InCoWriMo!

Hello! The title of this post mentions something called "InCoWriMo" - you may be wondering what the heck that means. So I'm here to tell you. 

"InCoWriMo" (I'm still having trouble remembering the name) stands for "International Correspondence Writing Month". Participants are   supposed to write one handwritten piece of correspondence a day for the month of February. It doesn't have to be a lengthy letter, a quick note or postcard will do. In fact, today's email from the organization mentioned that you can even write a note to yourself to count as a daily correspondence. 

I tend to get the winter blues real bad around this time of year, especially at the moment since the mild weather we had most of January has morphed into a colder, snowier February. That's a drag. So I thought InCoWriMo would serve as a nice pick-me-up.  

And truth be told, I always liked to write letters, back when that was an important way to keep in touch (ie before email, texts, etc). I went through a time of living far away from family, and leaving friends behind as we moved from state from state. I valued writing letters and sending cards to loved ones then. As a Christmas "gift" to my mom one year, I told her I would write her one letter a week during the next year. And yes, I did just that.

(After my mom died, I learned that she had seemingly kept every letter I'd sent her from that year, plus those written other years I lived out of state. I say "seemingly" because I've yet to have to heart to even look them over, let alone re-read them. But if I ever do so, it'll be like having a journal of my life for whatever time period in which my letters had been written.)

The InCoWriMo folks explained that they picked February because it's the shortest month of the year, and so it'd be the easiest month for people to handle a daily correspondence. I don't know if I agree with that, since after all it's a month when folks might be sending out Valentines. Thus, they're already doing more correspondence than usual. I typically send out 24 cards for the Valentines for Vets program. Does that mean I'm covered for 24 correspondences? I suppose InCoWriMo could argue no, since all the cards getmailed out at once, to one address (a regional VA facility). 

But February is the month they'd chosen, so be it. Thus far I've sent out two thank you notes and one birthday card. Beyond that, there are other Valentines I can send out, besides my Valentines for Vets bunch. 

We've slacked off over the past few years with sending Christmas cards, but still have a few stalwarts who sent us Christmas cards this past December. So I can always return the favor by dropping them notes in return. 

Closer to home, I can make Valentines for neighbors. It may sound like a lot of card-making to you, but by now I'm an experienced in that craft. I also have a rejuvenated sense of creativity due to the recent relocation of my studio from a drab, dark basement to a sunny 2nd floor room. And I've come up with a simple Valentine card design this year, so there's that. 

As for the "international" aspect of InCoWriMo, the website has a link to this year's address submissions. A quick perusal showed that's there plenty of folks from other countries who would love to hear from other InCoWri writers.

If one would prefer to keep postage costs down, there's loads of American addresses as well. But personally, I think I have plenty of American family and friends to write to, so probably not much need to write to my countrymen/women on the list - unless I spy an address from a town or region of particular interest.

I realize that so many folks are extremely time-challenged these days. I happen to be an empty nester who tends to burrow indoors during the winter months, so as I'd said earlier, this is a good project for me. And judging from the long list of address submissions on the InCoWriMo site, I know I'm not the only one!

If this project interests you, go here. The link goes to the website where I first learned about InCoWriMo. There's a link within the initial post that mention the project, links to the InCoWriMo site, and also shares links to other correspondence sites. 


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