350 Letters Project | Month One Recap
If you're looking at the title of this post and thinking "what on earth? 350 letters?!" then I'd recommend you read this post which explains the craziness. In a nutshell, my big project for twenty-fifteen is to write and mail 350 letters to friends, family, acquaintances, etc. I thought I'd check in each month with some of my stationery favorites for the month and an update on how it's all going.
| Progress |
I set the goal of sending 30 letters in January and I actually wound up sending 30, which was great. I purposely didn't want to write one letter a day. I may do that later this year for a month, but I really didn't want to push it in the first month. I'm not yet in the habit of writing letters (although that is rapidly changing), so I wrote in small batches - sometimes just two or three, sometimes five or six at a time. So far, so good. I made my goal, and I'm really happy with that.
| The Breakdown |
In January, I sent 6 birthday cards, 2 anniversary notes, 8 Christmas thank-yous, 4 other thank you-type notes, 5 "just because" notes, 2 "hello" notes that included photos, 1 note to a friend I haven't seen in awhile who's connected on Instagram, and 2 emails I'm counting as letters for the purposes of this project (for now). More on those in another post. After just this first month, I have a lot of thoughts on email vs. snail mail, and I think after another few weeks I'll have gathered my thoughts enough to share. Let's just say I'm learning a lot - about myself and about modern communication. Interested in more stats? I mailed the letters to 8 states (although 20 of them went to California!). I wonder if I could hit the goal of sending a note to every state. Hm... email me if you live in New Mexico. Or one of the Dakotas. I'll send you a little something.
| Lessons Learned |
So for this first month, the biggest challenge was getting into a rhythm and overcoming fear. I realize that sounds absolutely ridiculous. Who's afraid to write a note? But honestly, I had notes I sat down to write and I thought this person's going to think I'm crazy for writing them a letter!
As the month went on, I started to hit my stride and I just got over it. Lesson learned: don't overthink this stuff.
| Changes for Month Two |
I'm actually making a couple of adjustments for February. First, I'm going to be front-loading the mail this month since it's Valentine's Day in a couple weeks. I made a list of people I want to send Valentines to, as opposed to the more organic approach I took in January. Second, I'm going to number the envelopes. I did this for the first batch in January since I hadn't yet tracked them and I wanted to write down each letter I wrote in its original order, so I numbered the first few (i.e. "1 of 350, 2 of 350, etc). My sister said she loved knowing which number she'd received, so I'm going to resume that for February and see how I like it. I don't want the recipients to feel like a check-in-the-box, you know? But it might be fun for my friends and family to get a letter in, say, August and know how I'm doing. It's also a really good way to stay accountable!
| Favorites |
Well, this wouldn't be a blog about paper and design without a round-up of my favorite stationery this month, obviously. You're looking at it throughout this post. And that new year's resolution card? I found it a few weeks ago, and it's now hanging on the wall right next to my desk. I may send it at the end of the year... or maybe I'll hang onto it as a souvenir.
If you're not already, please consider following along on Instagram. I share envelopes, cards, progress on this project (#350letters) and others. Here's the post explaining why I'm doing this, in case you're curious. Let me know if you have any thoughts, questions, suggestions or things you're curious about related to this project. I'd be happy to share! And please let me know how your big projects are coming along this year.