Each November, aspiring fiction authors plunge into an intensive month-long novel-writing sprint known as National Novel Writing Month — aka NaNoWriMo.
But for those who are more inclined to write letters and cards than novels, there’s InCoWriMo — or International Correspondence Writing Month — every February. First introduced in 2013, this initiative bills itself as “vintage social media.”
Here’s the mission, should you choose to accept it: Hand-write and deliver/mail one letter, card, note, or postcard every day next month (chosen because it’s the shortest of the twelve).
You can write anything to anyone (the same person or different people), as long as you write — and do not email, text, tweet, tag, IM/DM, etc. — a total of 28 (or in leap years, 29) messages in February and ensure that they are actually sent. The use of computers even to generate snail-mail is prohibited.
That said, when these rules were created, it seems unlikely that much consideration was given to the situations of people with injuries or disabilities that make physical handwriting (or, for that matter, addressing, stamping, and mailing envelopes) difficult if not impossible. For example, many blind individuals use computer-based Braille interfaces to write, and many individuals with mobility issues in their arms or hands use voice-recognition software to generate text. If you fall into one of those categories (or something similar) and love to correspond, I encourage you to kick that no-computers restriction to the curb!
The timing for such an ambitious undertaking is just about ideal, considering how intense the need is for imaginative ways to connect as Covid cases continue to soar and make in-person meetings risky. In the Northern Hemisphere, we’re also deep into winter in February, and those of us living in cold-weather regions tend to remain indoors whenever possible during that time. Writing to someone can serve as an activity that is simultaneously cozy, creative, generous, and therapeutic.
To learn more, visit the InCoWriMo website. And to those who feel inclined to give InCoWriMo a shot, enjoy — and good luck!