InCoWriMo stands for International Correspondence Writing Month. The idea is to write a letter, a postcard or note to someone every day during the month of February. Why February you may ask, it is the month with the fewest number of days so it is easier to stay commited.
I took part for the very first time last year. I was new in the realm of using fountain pens. However, in the increasingly digital world that we live in, I found I had very few opportunities to break out my beloved fountain pens to jot down a note or write myself a to-do list. I found myself inventing excuses to use my pens. Luckily it was during this time I had stumbled upon InCoWriMo.
I went browsing in the FPgeeks forum looking for 28 people to write to. There was no rule saying that I had to only write to people I know so I made it a point to pick people from as many different countries as possible. I made a list of their addresses and began drafting my letters. I admit I had cheated a little, I didn’t write a letter everyday. I had written 3 letters a day in the beginning and took a break when my other life obligations has to take priority.
At first I was constantly introducing myself in the letters. I reasoned the people I was writing don’t know me so I had to introduce myself. However this quickly become extremely boring since I was essentially writing the same letter over and over again. I began to look for writing cues and incorporating that into my letter. I wrote about the new pens I had acquired, I wrote about my favourite inks, I wrote about Singapore, I wrote about my childhood and basically whatever that comes to mind. There was one letter writer who has an experiment going where he included slips for us to include in our out-going letters. You can see how far a little piece of paper can go. Check out this forum thread to find out.
The month of February quickly came to an end and I was a little disappointed that it was all over. However it was during March that I realised that while you write to others, others write to you as well. This is where being a Singaporean makes you all the more *exotic* to others! I happily spent March replying to all the letters I had recevied. Some of the people I had wrote to and the people who wrote to me had dropped off after InCoWriMo has ended but others had turned into my year long penpals. Since then I hardly had a week gone by without receving at least one letter from my penpals.
February is coming around again and I will be taking part in InCoWriMo this year. I hope you join me in this month of letter writing madness!