Holy mail! I’ve been drowning, in the best way possible, in letters. It’s been crazy! I’ve been getting mail from strangers or people I haven’t heard of, in addition to my regular pen pals. I don’t know where everyone came from! I blame Letter Writing Month 😉 It has been really hard to keep on top of everything and it certainly didn’t help that I basically took all of January off from writing letters. After my bike accident, I was in a super weird place and I had a really hard time putting pen to paper. Things are way better now and I’ve been slowly replying to everyone. As of this post, I only have about 7 replies left!
One thing that has been incredibly helpful for me in staying on top of my replies is my bullet journal. For February, I created a little spread to keep track of all the letters I had to write. It was a little daunting at first! When I created the page, I had about 15 people to write back. Seeing that on paper was like, “whoaaa, how am I ever going to write everyone back!?” but it proved to be really motivating for me. I find that I am really motivated by crossing things off. Also in my bullet journal, I create a task in my daily spreads that is “write a letter”. Just having that task there, and knowing that I want to cross it off, will motivate me to write at least one letter.
I was really hoping to complete all of my replies by the end of February but last weekend kind of got away from me and I just couldn’t do it. I was so close! But it shouldn’t be long before I get all caught up. I really hope I can do it this weekend.
Sometimes I am just completely in awe of the natural creativity of folks. For instance, this pen pal I met at the first Portland Correspondence Co-op, Supa’Flous. She wasn’t familiar with the world of mail art until that day, although she was familiar with sending and receiving mail. I chatted with her about the community that I have basically grown up with, the mail art community. I showed her some examples of mail art, letters that I had brought with me, and she seemed instantly hooked! We exchanged addresses and that was that.
The first thing I received from her, all I could think was that she was a natural! Her drawings are unique and she has some really awesome ideas of non-traditional mail. Here are some examples of the awesome mail she sends my way!
I receive a lot of amazing things in my mailbox almost daily. I thought it would be nice to feature some beautiful mail art here and there.
Although I don’t want to play favorites, Rhiannon is definitely high on the list of people I love to receive letters from and people I love to write to. I thought we had met during my time in the League of Extraordinary Penpals but it turns out she actually wrote to me after reading my blog all the way back in 2012 (this is why I keep spreadsheets of incoming/outgoing mail, btw). I honestly can’t believe it’s been that long!
Rhiannon is seriously cool. She shares her book/music/movie recommendations with me and doodles in her letters. She once sent me a mix cd that I listened to straight for months; her taste is exceptional! Lately she is doing the school thing so I don’t get to hear from her too often but it’s always a treat when I do!
I suggest you check out her tumblr and see how cool she is!
One of my unofficial (or, didn’t realize it until I started doing it) goals for the year is organizing all of my mail. I’m pretty organized already as I keep a spreadsheet of all incoming and outgoing mail but, with all of the moves I’ve made in the last 3 years, I figured I might have lost a letter or two. If you didn’t know, I keep every piece of personal mail that I receive, and I have been doing that since I started sending mail in 2000.
Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been poking through all my letters and postcards and making sure I’ve logged them on the spreadsheet. So far, so good! I’m almost finished going through all of my mail. I will be happy once this project is over!
The next step is finding a different way to store everything. I currently use those accordion file folders which worked out well when I didn’t have a lot of mail. Now that my collection is growing, I can’t shut any of the 4 folders that I have and I have a whole Trader Joe’s bag full of mail to put away! I’m dreaming of the day I will have the space and money to have one of these bad boys. If I ever got something like that, I would have a drawer designated for each of my pen pals, and drawers for the different websites I send mail through (like Postcrossing or Swap-bot). It will be the best.
How do you organize your mail? Do you keep all of the letters or postcards you receive?
Here is some mail that I have received lately! These will just be added to my “reply to” pile. I think that pile is about 10 high, at the moment. I’m waiting on an order of postage stamps before I can send out any letters. I’m really bad at staying on top of having postage on hand. Oops.