Sponsor Challenge Update: Sakura of America

To me, writing a letter is thinking about the past, writing a note in the present and sending it off for someone to receive in the future. A letter can travel through both space and time and that is pretty cool to think about.

We sat down with Michaela of Sakura of America, a Write_On sponsor, to get a feel for how the 30 day challenge was going! Be sure to check out the rest of our Sponsor Challenge Updates after this. 

Write_On:  How many years have you participated in Write_On? 

Michaela:  This is my third year participating and I couldn’t be more thrilled!

Write_On:  What does your letter-writing habit usually look like? 

Michaela:  I don’t write as often as I’d like, but I do enjoy writing cards for the holidays along with our family photo and thank you notes to let people know just how grateful I am for their generous gifts. I also really like lettering and sending “Congratulations!” cards for graduates, friends who work hard and get promotions or new jobs, or if anyone is expanding their family – weddings, babies, even new pets. I have been really into hand lettering so sending a letter I also a good excuse for me to practice and decorate my envelopes. 

Write_On:   How's it going? How many letters have you written? Are you trying to write daily?

Michaela:  I have been pretty diligent about writing my cards and it has been so nice to have a good excuse to send out “I am thinking of you just because….” cards. It’s like sending a hug! I have 15 cards mailed out, although some days I am playing catch up and write 2 in a day.

Write_On:  What do you find most difficult about writing a letter?

Michaela:  Making the time has been tough! Since I have a new baby, it’s been hard going out to dinner with friends or socializing like I used to. Sending cards that just say “Hello! I’m still okay and I’m thinking of you” have actually been pretty fun to write. As a busy person, it’s easy to come up with excuses of why there isn’t time to connect with people. But Write On has shown me it’s actually quite easy to sit down, have a thoughtful moment, and reach out to a friend.

Write_On:  What's been your favorite thing about Write_On so far? 

Michaela:  I’ve had a lot of fun coordinating pens with cards. Working for a pen company is a nice perk because any color I need is right at my fingertips. It’s also been so wonderful seeing all of the posts of Instagram and seeing how excited people are just sending letters. This simple act seems to bring a lot of joy to people – both the sender and recipient. It makes me feel really happy to have the job I do. I get to spread the word about pens for people to express themselves in a colorful and unique way. 

Write_On:  How have hand-written letters shaped your life and relationships?

Michaela:  I would write long letters to my parents when I first started college, when email was still a bit new and they hadn’t gotten the hang of it yet. I would write down my intentions for the semester, check in on them and let them know how I was doing. My mom would write back and send care packages, which was so comforting to receive when I was homesick. I would post her cards up and look at them when I was studying. It was nice to see her penmanship and have a piece of home in my new place. It was just a bit more special than a phone call. We all still have those notes saved.

When my boyfriend (now husband) and I were first living together we were both working odd hour jobs and going to grad school so often times we were just two ships passing in the night. We would leave silly notes about chores or to-dos for each other. But he would always leave a nice love note along with his updates. It made me feel really special and appreciated. I still have a lot of those notes in a keepsake box.

This past year when we had our baby we received so many well wishing cards from friends and family. I am keeping them for when he is older to let him know how many people we excited for his arrival.

Write_On: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about letter-writing?

Michaela:  That letter writing is like a meditation. It is an opportunity to sit and slow down in the crazy busy world of ours and just reflect. To me, writing a letter is thinking about the past, writing a note in the present and sending it off for someone to receive in the future. A letter can travel through both space and time and that is pretty cool to think about.

Write_On:  What’s the next letter you’re planning to write?

Michaela:  I plan on writing a note to my mom and let her know how helpful and kind she has been to me as a new mom. I appreciate her now more than ever! And even though I tell her all the time, I think it would be nice for her to hold something in her hands that lets her know just how grateful I am to have her.