It’s the fifth of February and I’m ahead of schedule with InCoWriMo: I’ve written seven letters so far!
Overall, I’m really enjoying the experience. I’ve made a new penpal, entered a competition, written to two old friends and a couple of family members. I’ve got a list of friends, family, musicians, authors and companies that I plan to write to over the rest of the month, and I’m hoping to count some replies among my total by the end.
I’ve learned a few things already:
- It takes a long time to write a letter! I’ve squeezed letter-writing in straight after I write my journal in the evening, when I’m already sat down with my pens out. I’ve not found it a huge burden, but writing a letter, even a short one, is not a five-minute job.
- My handwriting looks very different in different pens. I already knew this, of course, but when you’re writing notes at work or in your journal, you’re not writing for an audience. Knowing explicitly that you’re writing to be read, you put your handwriting under a bit more scrutiny.
- Most paper sucks. I’m spoiled by Tomoe River in my journal and pocket pads, Rhodia in my home note pads, and Leuchtturm at work. I’ve got some lovely note cards, greeting cards and so on, and most of it either feathers or is so shiny that ink never dries. It’s really frustrating when you’re trying to show off a favourite ink or pen.
- I’m really boring. I admit to a bit of performance anxiety when writing letters. Do I ask loads of questions that metaphorically hang in the air until the recipient replies? Do I just update the recipient about what’s going on in my life, and if so, in what detail? Do I try to share opinions on world events, books I’ve read and films I’ve seen, or what? When I’m writing a few pages, I feel like I’m having a conversation with a mute — I’m just monologuing. Without live feedback I can’t judge whether what I’m writing is interesting.
I’d love to know your experiences of InCoWriMo so far — and if you would like to receive a letter from me, or to send me one, get in touch here or on Instagram.