I've just spent this evening re-reading this entire blog and all the comments. I feel kind of overwhelmed, awed even; I had something really special here, and I let it go.
Unfortunately - and I am ashamed to admit this - not long after I stopped writing this blog, I stopped replying to letters as well. I went from writing 30 + letters a month to none.
There were reasons why; I took on the role of Managing Editor at our local newspaper and it took over my life. But I left that job almost two years ago (and stepped into my current role) and still I haven't returned to letter writing.
Not because I don't still love it and still believe in it, but because I have felt too embarrassed. After trumpeting the wondrousness of all things letter-y, I just let it all fall away.
To make matters worse, I let my post office box go but didn't update my address here... So there are likely people who discovered my blog and wrote me letters that were 'returned to sender'. If that happened to you, I apologise sincerely.
I feel like my priorities got turned upside down.
A lot has happened in the intervening years; in some ways I feel a different person. And yet, reading this blog this evening has reminded me of a happier, simpler time. So... I am going to start writing letters again. I'm even going to go back to my old 'reply to' pile (yes, I've kept them all) and see if I can write back. Addresses may have changed, but I feel I owe it to all those writers to at least attempt to write back.
I have now updated the address in the sidebar... in case there is anyone generous and forgiving who would still like to drop me a letter or card.
I got overwhelmed before. I think I got in too deep, too fast. I'll take it at a different pace this time.
Occasionally, when I feel inspired, I might tap out a blog post about how this goes.
I don't even know if anyone will see this... but...
Love from Kaz
PS This excerpt from one of my previous blog posts hit me between the eyes:
"I feel like it marks a shift in my letter-writing journey. I can believe now that this little letterwriting caper has a future - there are penpal relationships I have made in the past few months which, circumstances willing, will go on for many years. I feel like good mail is something that is going to be a large part of my life for many years to come. When I'm a little old lady I'll still be pulling interesting mail out of the letterbox. That's a wonderful place to have got to!"