In the Fall of 2008, Erin wrote an open-ended letter to her stepdaughter on her blog. The letter was filled with things Erin wished she could say to her 12-year-old stepdaughter but didn’t. From future hopes and dreams to the intricacies of teenage angst, the letter was one stepmom’s heartfelt approach to communicate with her stepdaughter without actually “communicating.” The letter went on to capture the attention of other stepmoms across the Internet.
The letters, written for mothers, could be about anything so long as it was addressed to a mom. At the same time, Jacque popped open her computer to begin her annual holiday letter to her family. Each year Jacque, her husband, and her three stepkids write a letter to each other that describes the previous year’s ups and downs and hopes for the upcoming year. Then they read them out loud to each other. It’s a tradition that Jacque’s dad and stepmom started when Jacque was a teenage stepkid.
And so an idea was born. Why not create a site where blended families could write anonymous letters to a member of their family. Stepmoms, stepdads, stepkids, husbands, bio-moms, half-siblings — we wanted to create a place where blended families could write letters to the people in their families — be it heartful and joyful to angry or sad.
If you would like to add a letter to the Stepfamily Letter Project, there are a few steps to follow:
- Compose your letter. We’re taking all kinds of letters: Happy, sad, angry, sweet — it doesn’t matter. We only ask you don’t threaten any harm in your letter. We won’t publish those.
- Send your letter. You can send your letter within the body of an e-mail, in a Word document, a text document or Google Doc. All we ask is that you send it to Stepfamilyletterproject@gmail.com. We’ll try to publish the letters within 48 hours of receipt.
- Include your name and e-mail. Obviously, because you’re e-mailing your letter, we’ll have your e-mail address. Please also include your first and last name somewhere in the email . We will not publish your name or e-mail address on the website; however, should we need to contact you for any reason, we’d rather not have to start out with “Hey you with the letter.”
- Spread the word. If you know someone in a blended family who you think would want to participate, let them know about the site. We’re happy to answer any questions about the project. We’ve event created this fabulous button (175 pixels x 175 pixels for your web-savvy folks out there) that you can post on your own blog or website.
5. Check back or subscribe. If you have an RSS feed reader or aggregator, sign up for an RSS feed for the site. This way, you’ll be alerted when we post a new letter.