The Lost Art of Letter Writing
Letters used to be a staple of communication. Sending news, keeping war-separated lovers connected, sharing a tasty bit of gossip in the halls (not that I condone that) or a way to make a friend half way around the world. Letters recorded our thoughts, our history. I have some lovely letters that my grandfather wrote my grandmother during WWII. They are some of my dearest possessions; filled with love, sentiment, news and some of the most beautiful penmanship I’ve ever seen.
Where are these splendid treasures in the 21st century? Do they still have a place in our text crazed world where we can’t be bothered typing full words, using proper grammar or punctuation? I believe they do – but we must give this art a new revival!
I have a mission – it is to convince others that handwritten letters should and could make a comeback! Let me share with you my 10 reasons to revive letter writing; I think I can bring you back!
5 Reasons to Bring Back Letter Writing
- Handwriting is personal
There is nothing quite like the personal touch of a handwritten letter. The paper filled with the ink of someone’s pen; and the handwriting that is unmistakably their own. This handwriting took effort, training (or lack of it) – it isn’t a font downloaded from a website. There is nothing quite a personal as someone’s handwriting.
- Letter writing takes time and thoughtfulness
A text or an e-mail isn’t usually well thought out. It is a mere convenient way to send a few thoughts or a list. But letter writing takes time, effort and reflection. A page of our thoughts, love and news. Let’s be honest, physically writing out a page of words takes more time and energy then hastily typing out a few lines of text or e-mail.
- They are worth saving – not easily deleted
We tend to save letters. I still have some from jr. high in my memory box. I have a letter my grandma wrote me shortly after I got married with recipes and marital advice in it. Letters can’t just be deleted in a whim. These get tucked away in drawers, files and boxes for later enjoyment.
- The simple joy of getting something in the mailbox besides bills
I don’t know about you but I used to be excited to check the mail. That ended years ago as my mailbox became a bill box. But oh the joy when I get a handwritten note or card! There is nothing quite like walking inside with that little envelope, peeling it open and taking in the gift it offers…truly.
- They outlive you
Far after we are gone, no one will care about the million texts we may have sent. But a letter will last. It can even be passed down to the generations to come. Can you think of a single e-mail that would be worth printing out and storing away? Letters are legacy!
So perhaps I’ve encouraged or convinced you; I hope I have. But maybe you’re wondering how can you get started. Well I have some thoughts on that too!
5 Ways to Revive The Vintage Skill of Letter Writing
- Buy some beautiful stationary
Find something that really represents you; and consider having it personalized. You’ll be more apt to use something you like and your recipient will be even more delighted with the little touches and steps you took.
- Keep good pens on hand
There is something to be said for a good pen. I’m not saying you have to go out and buy a $50 pen. But maybe, instead of buying the $1 pack of pens, you pick out one that has great flow. Pick out one that is comfortable to hold and has a color that is pleasing to read.
- Make a commitment to take some time to write
Take some time out of your week to sit down and write those letters. Carve it out of your schedule or it may never happen!
- Send your letters with a stamped return envelope
Want to give yourself a better chance at receiving a response? Send a return envelope with your address all filled out and put a stamp on that puppy! Not only does that communicate that you want and expect a response; it give them a few less excuses…
- Find a pen pal with a passion for letters
If all else fails seek out a pen pal that loves writing and receiving letters. This could be a family member, a friend or you can join a pen pal service (check out this list).
I hope that you are encouraged to take up pen and paper and revive the lost art of letter writing!