Letter Writing

There are reasons that a person would not like getting mail. For one, there may be an overwhelming anxiety because of a obligation to respond, which takes planning, time, and money. For another there may be a sense of doom because the box is chock-full of hate mail and spam adverts or, worse yet, bills. There was a time when I wrote at least several letters a month, something I enjoyed for its intimacy and privacy, but gave up for a variety of reasons. Now I mostly write intermittently to a few friends and to my great aunt who serves as my primary postal correspondent since she writes back.

I am going to go back to writing letters more regularly, hopefully composing at least one or two every week for the year. In part this means that people who I know in person and whose addresses I have are going to be bombarded by folded paper, but it doesn’t need to be restricted to them. As such, if you want to receive one or more letters this year, send your mailing address to jpnudell@gmail.com. I am willing to mail letters anywhere the USPS lets me.

If you give me an address…

  1. I promise to sent you at least one letter in 2016.
  2. The letter might be irreverent about society based on my own opinion, but will never be vulgar, crass, lewd or threatening.
  3. You are under no obligation to reply, but I would of course welcome letters back.
  4. I prefer that you give me your own address, but if you give me someone else’s you must also give me their name so I can make a proper salutation and I will be sure to let the recipient know who inflicted this upon them.

Hypothetical FAQ:

Why do this?
Consider it a sort of New Year’s Resolution. I want to write letters because correspondences fascinate me, particularly from yesteryear when letter correspondences were published. (I guess we just have email leaks and/or dumps so publishing letters in an edited collection isn’t necessary anymore.) This fascination also expands to handwriting and the topics people choose to write about. I also save letters I receive from people and have, at less busy times in my life, gone back to read them. I have no expectations, but am curious to see what will happen.

What will you write about?
I honestly don’t know and it will likely vary widely depending on how well I know the recipient. Anticipated topics include: the weather, universities, sports, history, books I’ve been reading, the election cycle, baking, or whatever else is on my mind. One of the things I might do is something of an “analog twitter” where I compose two-sentence observations or thoughts and mail a short collection of those. Or maybe I’ll doodle marginalia. The rewards for this project are almost entirely internal so I am going to have some fun with it.

Can I control the form or content that the content takes?
If you express a preference for topic, I will take that under advisement, but make no promises.

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