I have decided to work on a new project on this blog in 2023. This is risky, because I need other people to participate and I came up with the idea this morning. So this serves as both an announcement and a call for participants.

Letters will involve me corresponding with someone else on the internet over the course of a month. Each week, we will each write a letter to each other. There are no set topics. The rules will be:

  1. The person I’m corresponding with will write the first letter.
  2. I will respond during the same week. They do not have to write again until the next week.
  3. Each letter will be at least 250 words.
  4. I will post the correspondent’s letter followed by my response on my blog. If they have a blog, they can do the same and I will gladly link to them.

If you’d be interested in participating in Letters, email me at hello@jbecker.co and provide me with two months in 2023 that could work for you. Feel free to link me to your personal webpage or provide a short bit about yourself (but no pressure on any idea of topics).

Why am I interested in this project? I was thinking about how much of our history (in the West at least) comes from important figures having extensive private correspondences that were saved, catalogued, and released after their deaths. And while I’d love some private pen pals, it just got me thinking that public letters are a rich way to discuss complex issues. What’s the point of having a blog and not restricting my online presence and interactions to 280 characters if not engaging in richer, complex conversation?

My favorite world online was that of personal blogs and journals in conversation with each other. I’m hoping Letters can jump start that for me. I’m also hoping to build some deeper relationships online with folks who are in my orbit enough to see this post, but I don’t really feel like I know them in a meaningful way.

So that’s the idea for 2023. I hope some of you will be interested in participating so that I don’t have to spend late December scrambling to convince folks to write a letter to me each week or cancel the project all together.

Let’s make something fun on the internet.