Monday, 13 July 2009

The lost art of letter writing

Considering how much I like technology, it’s always been a little bit puzzling (at least to me) that I don’t have an electronic diary. Rather, I have a paper one and quite enjoy writing my appointments on it – with pencil in case I have to erase them! I used to have an electronic diary but somehow didn’t ever get on with it, even though it was quite a lovely gadget, but I ended up back on familiar ground with a paper diary and a pencil.

I feel the same about letters. I mean, I love email, as anyone that knows me will attest, but when it comes to writing from the heart, it’s just gotta be on paper and using a nice pen. There is something so different about writing paper letters that just can not be equalled with email.

Email is of course quick and very convenient. I am also a very quick typist so I can write reams and reams in no time at all. However, there are times when I just feel better sitting down with some paper and a pen and pouring my heart out to someone. Or just letting them know that we are all okay. Or even just a quick hello to a friend I may not have seen for a while. Paper letters are lovely and should not be forgotten.

The great thing about mail is that rarely do people complain about having to read a letter – by comparison, how often do people moan about email? Even if the handwriting is not perfect, there is something so personal about people taking the time to sit down and put pen to paper. Nobody ignores a letter. Getting a letter also means that you get something you can keep, something tangible, unlike an email which you could print out of course but isn’t as personal as a letter.

I have a friend that always sends me letters. We’ve lived apart for around 15 years now and she still finds the time to write to me, send me photos of her children and sometimes even tucks in a bookmark or some other gift into the envelope. I always write back, because I love getting her letters so much and it’s only fair that she gets the same joy from me. Letters take forever to get to us so in-between letters we still email but it’s somehow not quite as nice. I love getting the envelope, looking at the stamp, at the postmark and then settling down to read it when I get a moment’s peace.

Considering I’m a paper crafter I really should write MORE letters but I don’t. I make all these cards and things and then almost have no one to send them to so I’ve started sending letters out to my friends. They say that the best way to get letters is to send them, so that’s what I’ve started doing. Even though I email pretty much everyone these days, I have made a vow to send more letters and to always reply to the ones I do get. I spend time making a card or decorating notepaper and then I sit down, put pen to paper and write...

It may feel quaint and old fashioned, like a paper diary, but letter writing is such a nice thing to do and we should all do it more. So start writing – and if you send me one rest assured that I will definitely write back!


Shazza911 said...

wow, I think I want to write you a letter!!

JaneH said...

Well, AMEN Sistah! So glad to hear someone say this. When I read the historical letters written by various figures, such as the moving accounts of the American civil war sent to loved ones, letters of Jane Austen to various friends and family, letters of Walt Whitman, and on and on I literally DESPAIR! With email, those are lost forever.

As a teen, many years ago, I joined all kinds of pen pal clubs and had pen pals all over the world. It was so exciting to get a letter in the post with foreign stamps. Our children and future generations will have been ROBBED!


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