30-day challenge: lockdown letter to friends & family: April/May 2020

Write an (online) letter or postcard to friends and family every day for 30 days

We all want to keep in touch with friends and family during the strange times of a pandemic and, let’s face it, we still need to hear from people too. How about we write (now, send later) a postcard or letter to someone more often than usual?

With the coronavirus lockdown still in place, we’re either busier than usual with and/or have more time on our hands. (OK, it’s still the same amount of time as before, albeit spent or structured differently.)

So I’ve set myself another — I did the same a few months back — 30-day challenge to send a postcard, handwritten note or letter to a friend or family member. Every day.

To post or not to post… that’s a conundrum at the moment, and on balance I prefer not to whenever I can because of the potential  risk to postal workers.

In most cases, except for a few more elderly friends and relatives who aren’t online, I plan to write the card/letter and send it as an image by email for now.

Then once it feels more comfortable I’ll send it by mail or – longer term, eye on the prize – I may even hand it over, applying social distancing, when we meet for that (at least)  6-feet-apart walk. Here’s hoping.

(The BBC ran a story on 10 April about postal workers’ safety.  Here are coronavirus updates by Royal  Mail. Quartz published a series of articles recently about the delivery dilemma.)

Writing that card, postcard or letter will take an estimated 10 minutes or so.

(Timed 10 minutes to focus on one thing, rather than be drawn in several directions at once: are you also a fan of that approach? A previous blog about reading mentions this too.)

Who knows, I may even manage a letter once a week.

Occasionally, patchily, seldom. That’s how often I  do that already. 

As to the benefits, let’s see…

(I hit on this lovely poem by Helena Minton, “Letter from Shuyak Island, Alaska,” via the Poetry Foundation: http://bit.ly/348gxIj

You may also like this TEDx “Why write?” talk by Jake Weidmann: http://bit.ly/2Zw0UHt

And here’s a blog focusing on #PortesdePenge postcards, with thanks to Press Gang for the printing and Stephen Shillito  for the graphic design.)

Lead image by TheoRivierenlaan; Roman numeral image by TanteTati, both on Pixabay


If you’re working a 7-day/30-day challenge like this, here’s a suggestion: post occasional updates on Twitter, Facebook, or another social-media platform of your choice…

For instance here’s a tweet with a recap from day 8 of a previous version of this writing challenge. As much as anything, this helped me to make a bit more progress with an (emerging) new habit. That I’m now trying out again…

Here’s my post on LinkedIn from my previous version of this challenge in Sept 2019

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Sunday April 26 2020
Monday, May 25 2020

How Much?

(The price of a stamp)