The Stepfamily Letter Project

by Carolyn on October 12, 2009

Stepfamily Letter Project

The Stepfamily Letter Project

Have you ever wished you could write an utterly honest letter to your father?  Stepmother?  Stepsibling?  Daughter?  Your ex husband’s wife?  Your husband?  Well, now you can do just that and post it anonymously on what I think is one of the best websites for divorced and blended families.

While doing an interview a while back with Jacqueline Fletcher, for her website Becoming a Stepmom, she mentioned to me a website she was involved with called The Stepfamily Letter Project.  It is a website founded by her and Erin from The Erin Experiment.  The mere fact that this website is run by these two incredible women should have prepared me for how wonderful the site would actually be.  But upon visiting myself, I was amazed.

I believe in the power of writing.  Of giving thoughts a permanent and tangible place in the universe.  It can be both a release and an embodiment.  Sometimes it can simply make us feel better to write it out, never needing it to be read again.  Other times it can be something that we refer to over and over, remembering.  Writing is simply cathartic.  Reading what others write can be too.

The Stepfamily Letter Project is a website for letters.  Letters written by members of divorced and blended families to other members.  Anonymous letters allowing  for the freedom to write what you really feel without having to endure the consequences of actually expressing those feelings to a person.  Readers can comment, either validating the writer or offering another view.  What a wonderful resource for those of us who struggle.  And of course joyous or thankful letters are welcome too.

I asked Erin a few questions regarding the site:

How did you get the idea for ‘The Stepfamily Letter Project’?

The origin of the SLP was based on a letter I wrote to my stepdaughter on my own blog. It was a heartfelt letter where I offered advice on being a stepdaughter and wished her a lifetime’s worth of happiness among other things. I’ve never given her the letter or shown it to her but it caught the attention of a lot of Stepmoms who told me they cried a little when they read it. One of those Stepmoms was Jacquelyn Fletcher, author of becomingastepmom.com and the book A Career Girl’s Guide to Becoming a Stepmom. Jacquelyn’s family had a holiday tradition where they’d write letters to one another and read them on Christmas. Both Jacquelyn and I thought we might be on to something if we created a site where people could write anonymous letters to a member or members of their family. Both of us found letter writing to be cathartic so it seemed like a natural progression to turn things we’d both worked on into a website.

Do you have a favorite letter?

I don’t have one favorite letter; however, there are a few gentlemen that have written some wonderful letters to their wives thanking them — or wishing them happy birthday. These men really seem to get how far gratitude goes with women. A thank you and an I appreciate you go a long way with most women and those men who recognize that and are willing to put those feelings on the site melt my heart every time.

Have you been surprised by the response to the site?

I confess I’m a little surprised. Jacque and I thought people might think it was a neat idea and maybe want to write letters but to see the global reach it’s gotten and how many letters we’ve received is a great feeling. I can’t help, however, to feel a little sad at how much anger there is in the world about these issues. It makes me realize how diverse people are in their attitudes and willingness — or unwillingness — to get along or make peace.

What are the submission guidelines?

Anyone can submit a letter to Stepfamilyletterproject@gmail.com and it will be posted within 48 hours. We don’t accept letters where people are threatening to harm another and we won’t post letters that mention specific names or URLs. Letters are open for comments; however, we monitor the comments to make sure no one is being horribly insensitive. While we don’t publish the real name of the letter writer, we would like to know your name just in case we need to contact you to clarify something.

I am so looking forward to contributing to this site.  Even with this platform, the fact that I am not writing under a pseudonym means that I do filter myself at times.  I would encourage anyone else to contribute as well.  You might be surprised how liberating one letter can be.

*How did you get the idea for 'The Stepfamily Letter Project'?*
The origin of the SLP was based on a letter I wrote to my stepdaughter on my
own blog. (http://www.erinexperiment.com/2008/11/dear-stepdaughter.html) It
was a heartfelt letter where I offered advice on being a stepdaughter and
wished her a lifetime's worth of happiness among other things. I've never
given her the letter or shown it to her but it caught the attention of a lot
of Stepmoms who told me they cried a little when they read it. One of those
Stepmoms was Jacquelyn Fletcher, author of becomingastepmom.com and the book
A Career Girl's Guide to Becoming a Stepmom.

Jacquelyn's family had a holiday tradition where they'd write letters to one
another and read them on Christmas. Both Jacquelyn and I thought we might be
on to something if we created a site where people could write anonymous
letters to a member or members of their family. Both of us found letter
writing to be cathartic so it seemed like a natural progression to turn
things we'd both worked on into a website.
*
Do you have a favorite letter?*
I don't have one favorite letter; however, there are a few gentlemen that
have written some wonderful letters to their wives thanking them -- or
wishing them happy birthday. These men really seem to get how far gratitude
goes with women. A thank you and an I appreciate you go a long way with most
women and those men who recognize that and are willing to put those feelings
on the site melt my heart every time.

*Have you been surprised by the response to the site?*
I confess I'm a little surprised. Jacque and I thought people might think it
was a neat idea and maybe want to write letters but to see the global reach
it's gotten and how many letters we've received is a great feeling. I can't
help, however, to feel a little sad at how much anger there is in the world
about these issues. It makes me realize how diverse people are in their
attitudes and willingness -- or unwillingness -- to get along or make peace.

*What are the submission guidelines?*
Anyone can submit a letter to  Stepfamilyletterproject@gmail.com and it will
be posted within 48 hours. We don't accept letters where people are
threatening to harm another and we won't post letters that mention specific
names or URLs. Letters are open for comments; however, we monitor the
comments to make sure no one is being horribly insensitive. While we don't
publish the real name of the letter writer, we would like to know your name
just in case we need to contact you to clarify something.
Share

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Paige October 12, 2009 at 2:45 pm

Stopping by from SITS! Have a great week.

Reply

2 Melissa Multitasking Mama October 12, 2009 at 4:20 pm

What an interesting concept. I am sure it has been helpful for many people!
.-= Melissa Multitasking Mama´s last blog ..Raising Awareness (and a giveaway!) =-.

Reply

3 Theta Mom October 13, 2009 at 4:49 am

I believe in the power of writing, too. Sounds like an amazing project, one that truly helps people!
.-= Theta Mom´s last blog ..The Rush =-.

Reply

4 Typ0 October 13, 2009 at 8:53 am

The written word is so powerful. I love the idea of this project. Something like that could be so cathartic and helpful to so many people.
.-= Typ0´s last blog ..Of iPods and Engines =-.

Reply

5 Carolyn October 13, 2009 at 10:34 pm

I agree. I love the site. So therapeutic for those of us dealing with divorce and blended family related issues.

Reply

6 Tammy October 13, 2009 at 11:59 am

I agree 100% that writing things out is cathartic. What a cool idea!
.-= Tammy´s last blog ..Seen Any Good Movies Lately? =-.

Reply

7 Carolyn October 13, 2009 at 10:34 pm

Thanks, Tammy. I thought so too.

Reply

8 Eyes Wide Open October 14, 2009 at 7:24 am

I love this site…I think it might have been that blog that made me realize how much it would help to write out all the things flying through my head – good, bad or indifferent. I hear myself in so many of those letters. Hopefully your post about it will get more people writing!
.-= Eyes Wide Open´s last blog ..Big, Giant Awards Post =-.

Reply

9 Carolyn October 16, 2009 at 9:34 pm

I hope so. It is a really amazing site and even if they don’t write, like you, they may deeply relate with the letters they read.

Reply

10 Mimi October 14, 2009 at 12:40 pm

I think this may be a VERY positive thing. I am already wanting to contribute!
.-= Mimi´s last blog ..Flamingo Tongue =-.

Reply

11 Carolyn October 16, 2009 at 9:32 pm

Me too. As soon as I have time I’m writing a letter.

Reply

12 Sandy October 18, 2009 at 8:15 am

Stopping by from SITS and I am very intrigued by this idea. I will definitely check the site out.
.-= Sandy´s last blog ..Home Alone =-.

Reply

13 Carolyn October 19, 2009 at 12:00 am

I hope you like it. I was amazed the first time I went and couldn’t stop reading the letters!

Reply

14 Talibah October 29, 2009 at 12:35 am

Thanks for sharing this site! I just added it to our recommended sites, too. I think an anonymous forum like this could be helpful for co-parenting relationships, too. Love it!
.-= Talibah´s last blog ..Co-Parenting Myths & Misconceptions =-.

Reply

15 Carolyn November 2, 2009 at 10:06 am

I agree Talibah! I spent so long wading through the letters. It’s not only therapeutic to get the feelings out as an author but as a reader it’s also comforting to know you aren’t alone in them.

Reply

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: