Last year, I made an agreement to write every day. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that the time I allotted was a mere 15 minutes (just long enough to begin formulating coherent thoughts). Fortunately, that rapidly grew into much more time spent at the keyboard and putting pen to paper. I planned to blog every day, not as an agreement to which I held myself accountable, but more as a goal I strived to achieve. I did well with this until late summer when I began taking an anti-anxiety medication for my PTSD. So, although I was writing, I stopped blogging. I just stopped.
Late in 2014, I wanted to get back on track and made a couple of attempts that each resulted in one day in a row of blogging. As 2015 began, I wanted to begin blogging regularly again (the key word here – wanted). Now here it is the 9th, and up until now, I have completed 2 posts in January, for a grand total of one two-day stint. So I’ve decided to use another writing agreement I’ve made to push me toward my blogging goal. (I have not made a blogging agreement because the primary goal is to be writing. I have other endeavors besides this blog and I don’t want to be bogged down by a committment to post when I may deadlines to meet on other projects.)
So this year, I made a committment to write a handwritten note to someone daily. Part of the agreement is that I will mail or hand deliver the note within a week of writing it. My purpose in bring this up is that I have decided to post weekly about this process. The results of this agreement have been gratifying, even in this first week. I thought long and hard about to whom I would write first. After long consideration, it seemed the most person to begin with was my mother. After all, without her, I would not be here. Of course I would have loved to do double duty and write to my dad, and he is no longer on this plane. I know I can write to him anyway, so I plan to do that for his birthday in February.
In addition to deciding who would get my first note, I made preparations for the process. I purchased a couple of books of stamps, I rounded up all my address labels that were in various baskets and drawers around the house, and I scoured the attic for forgotten stationery and cards. I even asked for stationery and notecards for Christmas. My sister bought me two boxes of beautiful stationery, some boxed notecards, and some unique handmade cards. I also received a coupon to create some free photo notecards. I used it to create three different styles of notecards made from photos I had used in blog posts. I purchased a caddy to keep everything in sight and at the ready. I received a pocket planner for Christmas, which I am using to record birthdays and other special occasions. I have also written the names of the people to whom I will write each day. When I have completed my agreement for the day, I tick off the name of the recipient.
Early the first week, I received a letter from a friend who knew I had made this agreement. She was writing because she said that my agreement had inspired her to begin writing more. Today I received a text message from another friend who congratulated me on the progress I have made and thanked me for the photo card I sent her. She has enriched my life to a degree that I do not think she is aware and I simply wanted to thank her. . My step-father is in the hospital and I have been under the weather. Instead of bringing germs into his environment, I mailed him a get well card, inside which I wrote him a note. He’s been in and out of the hospital a lot and I don’t remember the last time I sent him a card. The engagement with other people, which has resulted from my note writing, has been a pleasant side-effect
So, as I reflect on the past week, I am finding great joy in my latest writing endeavor. I am also hoping that my desire to share this experience will help me reestablish my blogging habit. In the meantime, keep an eye on your mailbox. You might be next!