The Lost Art of Letter Writing

Letters

Does anyone else miss the days of pen to paper letter writing? Technology has made things so fast and easy, that it seems the personal touch of actually writing has become obsolete. Not only is writing electronically faster, but when you make a mistake it’s easy to hit the backspace or delete key and with no indication whatsoever of any error, you’re back on your way to creating the message. When you make a mistake when handwriting a letter, unless you scribble out the error, leaving it look less than beautiful, or you use the tacky, sticky white-out method, still leaving proof of an error, the only way to be error free when handwriting is to start over. And over. And over.

But there’s something about putting pen to paper that makes a message more personal and intimate. Choosing the stationery or notebook, the style and color of ink, feeling your hand move on the page, even the smell of the paper. And speaking of the smell of the paper, did I mention the extra personal touch of a spritz of scent on the paper before sending it on its way?

When I write, whether it be novels, poetry, or even writing practice, typing on the computer and writing by hand produces a significantly different outcome, which I’ve come to learn there’s a reason for: How you write affects the way your brain processes information.

One of the items on my bucket list is to become friends with people from ten different countries. In my pursuit to make that happen, I began looking at different websites that assist with finding pen pals. When I looked over the lists, a large number of those potential pen pals are looking to exchange letters specifically via email. I have to admit, I bypassed those.

I began to look at my own letter-writing habits and realized when I write letters to my sponsor kiddos in Togo, Tanzania, and Burkina Faso, I write them on the computer, sending pictures electronically as well, because it’s faster and easier. But when I receive their handwritten letters, seeing each curve and individual style of their handwriting in their handwritten letters, it brings me a sense of closeness to them, and pride when I see the progress they’ve made in their handwriting skills. I treasure those letters. Not to mention the thrill of seeing a letter in the mailbox. Oh the joy! 🙂 Perhaps it’s time to send them good old-fashioned handwritten letters in return.

In an age like ours, which is not given to letter-writing, we forget what an important part it used to play in people’s lives.”  ~Anatole Broyard

What are your preferences?

Writing pen to paper or email?

Actual books or electronic readers?

Electronics–friend or foe?

Receiving handwritten letters via snail mail or email?

Carpe Diem

6 thoughts on “The Lost Art of Letter Writing

  1. I love handwritten letters in the mail. It’s like Christmas in May when I see that colored envelope with my name scribbled on the front of it. Now, bills in the mail I switched to electronic cause I just find that a waste. I also enjoy writing my books pencil to paper first to create a basic idea. Then I type to computer to rest my wrists and fingers. I just love the feeling of writing over typing.

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    • I agree with the handwritten letters as well as the bill part being electronic. Novels I write on my computer, but writing practice and poetry have to be with pen and paper. 🙂
      Thank you for visiting. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love getting and occasionally giving hand written snail mail… I say occasionally because as you described, I can’t stand when I make a mistake and have to start over! LOL! I believe I do prefer paper (hardback) books better – when I’m actually reading them- though I’ve been transitioning to a Nook simply because I was being smothered by large, heavy boxes and shelves of books! 🙂

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    • There’s such a thrill of seeing an envelope addressed to you in the mailbox! 🙂 I prefer physical books to electronic as well, but sometimes electronic is just more convenient. 🙂

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