Tag Archives: reflections

Sunday Notes & Letters: The first reply to my letters arrives

So I am 46 days into my Year of Letters. It’s been an interesting journey so far. I’ve written family members, friends, politicians, corporate executives, children and even complete strangers. On Thursday I added some statistics to the project’s website. Some highlights are:

        People who replied with a handwritten letter: 2%
        People who didn’t reply with a handwritten letter, but acknowledged: 2
        Average number of days to receive handwritten replies: 19 days
        Furtherest distance traveled: San Anselmo, California (Day 29)
        Shortest distance traveled: Dupont Circle, Washington, DC (Day 34)
        Restraining orders received: 0

NickyLetterI guess the most surprising thing for me is how few responses I’ve received. My favorite one so far – ok it’s my only response so far – is from Nicky, a six-year-old boy from Oklahoma City. Thanks Nicky – you made my week!

A funny anecdote I’ll share as well. I wrote a handwritten note to my 84 and 86-year-old aunt and uncle. They replied…via email. Times are changing.

Sunday Notes

Me mailing the letter to Steve Carell from his hometown of Newton, MA. It was about 0 degrees when I snapped this photo.

Me mailing the letter to Steve Carell from his hometown of Newton, MA. It was about 0 degrees when I snapped this photo.

Good morning! Every Sunday I will either share a letter written by someone else – maybe a famous letter or perhaps a letter from my shoebox full of saved letters – or I’ll update you on the Year of Letters; responses that I have received and other tidbits that might not weave their way into the daily posts. Think of it like a day that you can kind of get a broader view on the project.

It’s been almost two weeks since I started the project and already I feel that I have learned some things. Here are 5 lessons learned so far:

  1. This takes a lot of time. Not so much writing the letters, but managing the blog, getting the photographs of the letters, etc.
  2. I have terrible handwriting. Now this isn’t really anything new to me, but none the less it saddens me to see my inconsistent scribbles in the photographic images of my letters. I sure hope it gets better through this project.
  3. Despite that people rarely send them, everyone loves to receive handwritten letters.
  4. Either I did a terrible job promoting my writing session yesterday here in DC or people don’t like to meet up to write letters – which is quite possible.
  5. My hands feel very arthritic and I worry about the remaining 354 days.

So far I’ve heard back from…

Whole Foods (Day 3) tweeted at me that they were happy that I shared the story of their employee who went the extra mile for our family over Thanksgiving.
A.R. and Aimee (Day 5) wrote me and said that I’ll be receiving a letter in the mail from them.
The Kimpton Group (Day 6) replied to me via Twitter – my request looks promising!Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 11.42.16 PM
Several people via email, Facebook and Twitter who have been extremely supportive of this project and one person even sent me some of their favorite stationery for me to use. THANK YOU Nicole!

I’ll be back tomorrow morning, sharing another letter.