Adventures in Letter Writing No. 91: New Memberships Back Soon!

Thanks everso for bearing with me while I took a little breather from memberships last month. You know when you feel a bit burnt out, it was just that really. It wasn’t a holiday even, it was just it seemed I was spinning too many plates and I thought people would understand. It’s been sweet that lots of letter writers or friends of letter writers have got in touch to ask about membership during May. I will get it up and running again soon and it’s not “defunct” as someone put it. It’s only a break, honest.

I couldn’t be prouder of The Handwritten Letter Appreciation Society and everyone in it so we aren’t going anywhere yet. I suppose at some point, you know, when I’m not here anymore, then that could be the end of the Society, but in truth I tend to feel that until all Society members are no longer here then it will always exist. And as I always say, I still count members who have died as members so really THLAS will exist forever in one form or another. I don’t mean to sound especially morbid, it was more trying to be realistic if anything, if that makes sense.

Since starting the Society back in October 2017 we have had some amazing coverage on TV, radio, in newspapers, publications and in books which might give the impression that I sit on a board of Directors like Alan Sugar, and that we have swish offices in London, and a whole team of people making it all happen (I’m not sure anyone thinks any of this), but in truth it’s just me here at “THLAS HQ” (my house). I’m the Membership Department, PR, receptionist and PA (although to be fair I do have invaluable help from husband putting up gazebos and moving postboxes and bags of stationery etc when at events). The membership pack production line is via an ancient computer and (actually quite new) printer and on the dining table and up the shed, and the lounge carpet is periodically covered in spraymount from making certificates. Maybe I shouldn’t spoil the illusion. It does make me chuckle when I get an email asking if “would Dinah Johnson be available for an interview?” I’m tempted to invent a PR person or agent just so I can write back in the third person, “Dinah would be very much available, thank you!”

Honestly though, deep down I don’t want it to be all corporate and branded and hard stops and moving forwards. If anything THLAS was to get away from all of that. I do berate myself for not being all entrepreneurial but in fact I love my gardening work too (being outside and the actual not big bucks but money earner) so it’s probably going to have to stay a bit amateurish I’m afraid. That is kind of what makes THLAS THLAS. I do worry about not replying to messages straightaway, even the curt ones, but in a way that is the whole point of the Society, to try and bring back a bit of patience and the niceties of communication, to not get hung up on immediate replies, and to look beyond the “brand” and “PR” and remember that real people are behind them (in most cases).

I’ve felt all a bit unnecessarily stressed out about reopening membership again today (1st June), not least because I’m just so proud and grateful that people believe in the idea of THLAS and want to join, but please bear with me a little longer as it might be a couple more weeks yet. I need to get our house in some sort of order (literally), and myself refreshed and geared up again. I am always so thankful and delighted by the love and enthusiasm for THLAS and never take that for granted, but in many ways the best support is just to write letters to your friends and family to keep letter writing on the map for everyone. You don’t even need to be a member of THLAS to do that.

Anyway I hope that explains why every now and then I may need to close the “Membership Department” for a short break. Just to come up for air or sort out some other goings-on. Thanks everso for understanding. I hope you know how very much appreciated it is.


6 thoughts on “Adventures in Letter Writing No. 91: New Memberships Back Soon!

    1. D1nah_ says:

      Thank you so much, Christine. Everyone involved with THLAS has been amazing helping to keep handwritten letters important. We’re a great team, hey! Dinah

  1. Liz says:

    Well done you need a break! You have achieved so much in short time and have given THLAS an amazing public profile, due to all your hard work. Well done and the world of letter writing will still be there for you all! x

    1. D1nah_ says:

      Aw, thanks, Liz. Everyone’s support and enthusiasm makes THLAS what it is. I slightly feel like I still could do with a holiday (who doesn’t?) but at least it was one less spinning plate for a bit, lol. Thank you for your lovely kind comments too. Dinah

  2. Kate Bowen says:

    No need for apologies Dinah, everyone needs to take a break from time to time, even from the things that we love doing. We all appreciate the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to keep THLAS going and delight everyone who wants to dip their toe into the world of letter writing. I LOVE being a member, may the society go from strength to strength!

  3. Chrissie says:

    B R E A T H E …!
    I think the whole idea behind hand written letters is that it’s slow, it’s gentle, we don’t need to respond immediately, we take time and think.
    So if I have to wait to become a member, how apt, how perfect, how reflective of the society.
    Take time Dinah, the society owes you some breathing space. If people are getting frustrated, perhaps they could write a letter to a friend and talk about why they are upset they can’t have something straight away…
    Just a thought.

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