February means InCoWriMo. I thought I would describe how I handle it. So what is InCoWriMo? It stands for International Correspondence Writing Month. You can read more at the official page. You will see:
One a Day. Every Day. February.
But the most important thing is to make it your own. If you write more letters, cards, postcards, or notes than you usually write, it is a good thing you do.
What I do for InCoWriMo is write at least 28 letters in February. But the process for each letter is what I typically do for any letters during the year.
I make sure I have what I need. Paper, pens and inks are usually in good supply at my house. But I check on envelopes, stamps, wax for seals, and washi tape. For InCoWriMo, I make a list of people and print it out. There is a blank column where I can write the number that this letter is for the month. This year I made a batch of envelopes to supplement what I have on hand.
My list has others who are participating in InCoWriMo and some I have written to before. I scan all my correspondence, both incoming and outgoing, and name the files like to Mom.pdf or from Mom.pdf. Then I can search for correspondence with a particular name and review the last thing I said and the last thing they said.
Now I pick the paper. I have some embossed cards and I sometimes start with those. The card doesn’t give you much room to write, so I add some half letter size sheets of Tomoe River Paper. In other cases I just start with the half letter size sheets and use an envelope I made.
Last choice is the pen and ink. Here I typically have lots of choices. I make sure to do something different than the last letters and every now and then someone requests a particular ink.
What I write depends on what I have written before. For new people, I often write about how I got into fountain pens. If you do that and tell something about how you got the pen and ink you are using and follow up with plans for new pens and pen shows this year, you can fill the pages quickly. Some people get a little of my life outside stationery as well.
Finishing the Envelope and Keeping a Record
This next part definitely adds to the time it takes me and is totally not required. First I scan the letter using Scan+ on my iPad. And then start working on the envelope.
Next I choose a stamp and put it on the envelope to make sure I know how much room I have to work with. I do a quick lettering style for the recipient’s name and usually keep the actual address plain.
Now I insert the letter in the envelope and seal it. I like to put the return address along the top of the back of the envelope. The back of the envelope almost always gets some washi tape. For InCoWriMo, I use my rubber stamp from LetterLetter.com and decide on any other rubber stamps.
The final touch is a wax seal. I have a few choices of stamps and lots of colors. After making this final choice, I scan the front and back of the envelope. Finally it is ready for the mail.
I hope you get something from this process. It is a little bit crazy, but maybe you can take something away from it to use in your own writing. Or you can just congratulate yourself on not being the craziest person out there.
p.s. Write someone this month and you can be part of InCoWriMo.