It is almost that time of year for the February letter writing frenzy. I will be taking part in InCoWriMo-2017, organised by a snail mail enthusiast I have the pleasure of calling a penfriend, from an InCoWriMo event in the past. InCoWriMo-2017 is for "ordinary" people: I say "ordinary" in a good sense because everyone can take part and send some letters to each other, not just to fountain pen company CEOs and celebrities listed on the InCoWriMo site with currently nowhere for "ordinary" people to sign up. You don't even need a fountain pen to take part, but the project would like you to send a handwritten letter everyday.
A similar project, A Month of Letters Challenge (LetterMo) for sending letters every postal day also allows the use of typewriters. There are little challenges within the main challenge, e.g. posting at a different postbox, using nice stamps, wax seals.
The fountain pen is my weapon of choice, but the gel pen used to be an implement of choice before I rediscovered fountain pens. I am happy to receive letters written in fountain pen, ballpoint, Sharpie, fineliner, even typewritten...
The paper can be ordinary. In my teenage years, a friend moved out of the area and went to a new school. She wrote letters on refill pad paper during some of her lessons! There are writing pads, lined or plain, white or cream or other colours, perhaps patterned or with a logo. If you are lucky, you could find some nice writing sets, but the ratio of paper to envelopes is often too low. If you have a printer, you can print your own designs (or use one of the many templates available online).
Some people like to decorate the letters with stickers, or washi tape. Some might say this is childish, but someone said that penpalling is only a children's hobby. I am in my 40s and I use stickers and washi/deco tapes. I have received letters with stickers on from people even older than me, and even received a missive from a gentleman in his late 50s on Diddl writing paper.
I have differentiated between InCoWriMo and InCoWriMo-2017. The original InCoWriMo was updated in February 2015, and then nothing until this month. InCoWriMo did still occur on a fountain pen forum and the original site in the comments section of the 2015 list, for 2016. However, with the original site looking dead in the water, my dear penfriend and snail mail enthusiast took it upon himself to create a new website for InCoWriMo-2107 in October. There are over 60 real people signed up already and the first week of January is only just over. So, it is with pleasure I support InCoWriMo-2017, for real people.
Letter writing is fun, both the writing and the receiving. I do hope newcomers to InCoWriMo-2017 will enjoy sending and receiving missives. Letters are for life, not just for February and you may find yourself finding new friends - penfriends are real friends too.