What is InCoWriMo?
You love getting stuff in the mail, right? I mean stuff that isn’t bills. No one likes bills. Handwritten cards, letters, and notes are a delight to pull out of your mailbox and enjoy. They make you feel connected to another human being in a way that digital correspondence can’t replicate. But you probably only ever send or receive mail around birthdays or the holidays. Wouldn’t it be nice to make heartwarming snail mail a more regular occasion? You can, with the help of a little thing called InCoWriMo (aka International Correspondence Writing Month)! This challenge, much like NaNoWriMo, sounds like gibberish but makes perfect sense. The challenge is to write a letter, card, or other handwritten delight and mail it out for every day of February.
How to Participate
This might sound like a daunting task, but it’s not too bad (especially considering that there are only 28 days in February)! Just gather up the names and address of 28 people, some paper, and some envelopes. But first, recite this pledge from the InCoWriMo site to announce your intent for the world to hear!
I, [insert your name], clearly see the benefits of InCoWriMo participation, not only to me personally, but also to those who will receive my correspondence. InCoWriMo is a beneficial endeavor and worthy of my full attention. I hereby pledge to hand-write and mail/deliver one letter, card, note or postcard every day during the month of February.
Then pick up your pen and start writing! And if you decide to post on social media, don’t forget to use #incowrimo or #incowrimo2018 to share.
Take An Extra Step
If you want to really make your letters extra special with some artsy pizazz, then I’ve got you covered! I’m personally a big fan of taking the time to brush letter out a beautiful card and write very little. Otherwise, I get rather bored writing the same general update of my life over and over again during the month! I also like to select a few special recipients and make my own envelopes out of watercolor paper so I can make a truly unique design. You know how I love my watercolor!
Sending anything through the mail for InCoWriMo is special, but sometimes it’s fun to take the time to play around and get creative. So don’t hold yourself back! If you’re feeling like doodling on your letters or cards, go for it! If you want to try out a new technique of lettering you just learned, then do it! This is your chance to share a piece of yourself.
Who to Write To
You might be worrying that you don’t possibly know enough people to send 28 letters. I was worried about that, too. But after only an hour of gathering addresses, I now have more than 30 people who are on my list! If you put your mind to it and look, there are people all over who would love to hear from you. I’m tellin’ ya, people adore getting snail mail.
Family and Family
You probably have several grandparents, aunts, uncles, or cousins who might love to get a letter from you. That is a solid start! After family, think of any friends you haven’t seen in a while. Send them some love, too! If you know of anyone going through a tough time right now, a card is the perfect pick-me-up that is sure to brighten their day.
Online Lists of Willing Recipients
You can always send letters to:
- This InCoWriMo list
- Military Service Members
- Hospitalized children
- Your representative in Congress (in U.S.)
You can always, of course, find all kinds of pen pal groups on Facebook for all kinds of interests. There’s religious pen pals, crafty pen pals, political pen pals, and tons more. Just search and I bet you will find something that piques your interest.
Write to Me!
And don’t forget me! I’d love to receive your letters and cards! I might not be able to respond to all the letters I get, but I definitely read them all and appreciate them dearly.
P.O. Box 463
Champaign, IL 61824
As a bonus tip, I’d suggest you keep all your addresses in an Excel file or a separate address book. I actually don’t keep these in my bullet journal because the information is sensitive and bulky. It’s easier to save and use in a digital format.
Now It’s Time to Get Started
Recite the pledge, gather some addresses, and get started! Bring this lost art back to life and see how wonderful it can be. Who knows? You might make a lifelong friend through pen and paper, or rekindle an old friendship. You might even be inspired to keep it going well past February and build better connections with your fellow human beings! The only way to know is to pick up your pen and find out.