The Letters Project

This year, I want to write more letters. I rarely write them anymore. In fact, the last letter I wrote was on behalf of someone else, a chipper piece of ghostwriting that was strangely reminiscent of the movie Her. I am thankful that technology connects me to vast numbers of people and allows me to keep up in "real time" with friends in faraway places. At the same time, I am painfully aware that it makes for more superficial connections. Hence, a revival of the letter as an art, genre, and medium: a more personal and tangible form of communication. I've been reading published letters from writers and other interesting people (the anthology Letters of Note is a great place to start), and some of them linger in my mind for weeks. They range from poignant to comedic, convincing to reassuring. They have all the best traits of personal writing: they tell stories and reveal vulnerabilities and forge deep connections between individuals.

This resolution goes hand in hand with a project for this space. I will be writing and posting letters here. I have some ideas for how they will work, but I intend for them to be spontaneous and diaristic and maybe open up conversations. Of course, there are huge differences between blogs and letters. Blogging is boundlessly public; letters are often private and intimate. Posting online is instantaneous; we post letters and wait for responses. But when the seed of this idea entered my mind, I was thinking back on the initial purpose of my blog, and it had essentially the same purpose as letters: to keep in touch