I barely learned about this until I was parsing through my Facebook feed. I follow Chronicle Books, and they casually dropped this article on their feed called 30 People to Write for Letter Writing Month.
I was intrigued. For one, it provides a wonderful list of people to write to, and secondly, it explained to me that National Letter Writing Month is a thing!
Many moons ago – when I still worked at the Reading Room (I feel I can name drop since it doesn’t exist anymore, except for those that carry its memory in our hearts) – I bought this adorable Asian inspired stationery set. When I decided to throw my hat in the ring of participation, I realized that I don’t think I have enough paper for 30 people so I may splurge and buy another set to support this endeavor.
I think the worst thing about being a writer is seeing the blank page in front of you. You have an overwhelming urge to fill it with something, even if it’s nonsense. So I think a lot of the letters that people will receive will be nonsense. I don’t even care.
I went through and scanned all of the letters I managed to save for my monogatari (talk about name dropping…). Some of the letters I saved were total nonsense. I’m lying; ALL of them were nonsense. But they were mine. I look at where I’m at in my life now, and I can’t believe that’s what I was writing to my friends about. They were as conversational as an elementary school/middle school aged girl at that education level would blurt out in between classes. They sound like the sender was talking to me as though they were right in front of me.
I wonder why we romanticize handwritten letters. Maybe because they’re not sent anymore so casually. We read stories about how people pinned their hopes and dreams in letters, only to have the post office lose it in the mail or whatever. I mean, there’s an entire form of novel writing where it’s a collection of documents. A lot of women’s history is based on first person diaries from their time period.
So, when people say “such and such is dead,” I’m disinclined to believe them. Things only die when people turn their backs on them. We haven’t turned our backs on words yet. There’s still room for broke-ass writers like me, trying to make their way in the world.
I’m not giving up. No matter how many times my depression eats at me, I know I’ll bounce back the next day.
Studio audience: are you participating in Letter Writing Month?