I Wrote Letters During Covid. Here's What Happened.
On Friday the 13th of March of 2020, I bought a brand-new car. I was about to discover my independence again after going almost four years without my own vehicle. Then everything started shutting down on Monday because a global pandemic swept across the nation.
On top of not having anywhere to go, we were soon asked to stay away from people who didn’t live under the same roof, so I wasn’t even driving my new ride to see friends. I missed my friends. Sure, we’re constantly connected through social media, but there’s something special about hearing someone’s voice, seeing their face in real time, and even seeing their handwriting. I suddenly found myself inspired to send handwritten notes to the people I was missing — family and friends, and anyone who wanted a little note in the mail.
How I Got Started With Covid-Era Letter Writing
My sister sends me cards and postcards randomly. She’s done this for years. She sent me a bunch of postcards around when COVID-19 started, and I was inspired to start sending them out to friends. I ordered stamps online and had to wait a while to get them, so during the wait, I posted on social media asking if anyone would like a letter in the mail from me and started collecting mailing addresses.
I knew my postcards wouldn’t go far, so I ordered more and bought some cards. Once the stamps arrived, I started writing. In the beginning, I tried to be poetic and unique, but after a while, I simply sent “well wishes” to people. I also on occasion sent pieces of art I made.
So, What Happened After I Sent Out These Handwritten Notes in the Mail?
The most amazing thing I discovered while sending notes to people via snail mail was that it not only makes other people feel good when they receive something just for them in their mailboxes, but it also makes you feel good as the sender. I felt the warm and fuzzies every time someone posted about the card they received or messaged me a “thank you.” But, of course, not everyone followed up with me, so I don’t know if some of those cards and postcards became lost in the mail, but I wasn’t doing it for the recognition.
I also found that doing this was inspiring to others and had a ripple effect. They realized how good it felt to receive a special note in the mail and started sending cards and letters to their friends and family members. Some people even wrote back to me and sent me art. It was a good reminder that inspiring other people to connect differently feels good.
I only sent letters and postcards for a few months. Being a freelance writer for a living and working on new books and poetry at that time, handwriting letters was a bit draining. It’s also not good for someone with carpal tunnel syndrome. But, I would do it again if everything shut down and I couldn’t see my friends’ faces in person.