A love of letters—a different kind of writing challenge

Dear Reader,

February Letter Writing ChallengeIt’s been a while since I wrote here. December was the month of making space, and January, I thought, would be the month of fresh starts. Instead, January walloped me with a little too much to do.

I managed to keep up with most of it—the client work, welcoming new clients, writing an essay, writing my monthly post for Empty Arms. I even managed to read a bunch. I just didn’t make it to this spot despite all my good intentions to connect more.

And now it’s February—another chance at a fresh start. A friend posted this challenge to write a letter every day there is mail in the month of February (bonus—write a letter on the other five days too). I find myself inspired.

I LOVE letters (I wrote more about that here) and I miss them.

I miss the excitement of finding an envelope (that’s not a bill) in the mail.

I miss sitting down and getting a glimpse into a friend’s day.

I miss the time and space created in the writing and reading. Again and again I find myself wanting to slow down. So this month I will—and in that space I’ll write letters.

I might start with the weather:

Tonight when I ran out to the grill in just sweatshirt to cook dinner, I didn’t wish I had put my coat on. There was a softness to the air that doesn’t belong in February. Earlier, waiting for K’s bus, I peeked at the bare ground by the back door wondering if the snowdrops would show their heads early. Even though it hasn’t been much of a winter (December found us eating at the picnic table and we’ve yet to get a covering of snow), I still smiled to see tiny green points of hope coming out of the ground.

I’ll tell you what I’ve been cooking (steak subs with blue cheese and caramelized onions) and how the books I’ve been reading make me want to spend more time cooking and relaxing around the table.

I’ll tell you what I’ve been reading (All the Light We Cannot See, Cooked, Death at La Fenice . . . ) and ask for suggestions.

I’ll talk about my kids, my writing, my wanting to start running again. I’ll talk about grief and joy, boredom and inspiration. I’ll tell you about dreams and my garden.

And I’ll hope I hear back, because I love writing letters, and I love getting them (and writing back and getting another).

Until next time,


Will you join the challenge and write 24 letters this month?


Mail call

Write a letter.I love letters. I have a big box of them in my attic from my parents and grandparents, sisters and friends.

I remember the excitement of finding a personally addressed envelope in my mailbox at college and the joy of finding one in the perpetually locked mailbox at my apartment in Italy where we had to fish them out with a wire coat hanger. They came in thin red and blue edged air mail envelopes and business sized envelopes and homemade envelopes folded from magazine pages.

I don’t get many letters these days. I don’t write that many either. But recently, I’ve been reading letters for research, and it reminded me how much I love letters, how different they are from Facebook posts or even usually email. So I wrote a letter about the weather and memories and what I’m reading and dreams.

I wrote to a friend who shared some writing with me last fall during my Abundance retreat. I love what I learned about the texture of her days from that shared writing. I want to know and share that texture.

I want to know how you feel when you look at your brand new baby or at your big one who’s starting to drive. I want to know what the piles of snow (or the flowers starting to bloom) look like outside your window. I want to know I’m not alone (you aren’t either).

I want to swap the old stories and remember who we were (are we still those people?). I want to share new ones and see who we are now and what our lives look like—not the holiday card round up, but the day to day life.

As I wrote my letter, the sky was winter white. When I went out, I was excited to wear shoes instead of boots and surprised that I didn’t need a coat. As I drove home, though, snow spit and swirled. It’s a confused time of year.

That energy I talked about last week is flowing, but sometimes I can’t figure out the direction. But tonight for a moment, I didn’t need a direction. For a momentWrite with Me Wednesday: Write a letter. , both my girls snuggled in beside me, clean and in jammies, and I read to them from Farmer Boy, a book I read over and over all through my childhood. They were cranky, we were running late for bed, but for that moment we were still and shared that story.

Write a Letter. Share a piece of your story. Take few minutes to write a letter to a friend. Share something about your life, your day to day, your dreams.


What’s going on in your life today?

You don’t have to write me a letter, but share in comments a moment or detail that stuck with you today.

 And if you love connecting through writing and are ready to capture more of your story—the day to day, the big stuff—I’d love to have you join me in April for the Grow retreat.