Lost At of Letter Writing

I think the art of letter writing is quickly becoming a lost art in this time of instant technology communications.   We now use email and text to communicate almost to the point that even  the telephone is quickly waning in use.  We use shorthand, abbreviations and forward information so we don’t have to write a full letter

I have a scrapbook that my great grandmother kept of post cards that she received from her husband and siblings.   When I read the post cards they are little notes about everyday life.    They have managed to last long after all those who wrote them are long gone.   These postcards in just a few sentences are windows in to the lives of my family years ago.

One of the things I do each month is write a note to a some of my of friends and acquaintances.  I am not sure what the recipients think but I am hoping they enjoy finding something in their post box that isn’t junk mail or a bill.  When I started this adventure at the beginning of the year I struggled to write a note of four or five sentences.   I wasn’t sure what to write or how to start, how to finish, or tie it all together.   With practice, like any art form I find that writing these notes to my friends is getting easier to do.  I no longer struggle and my messages  are becoming more personal in nature to each recipient .    Letter writing is also a different form of writing from my blog, my book, my emails and definitely my texts.   Challenges of writing in different genres causes me to become a better writer in each of them.  It is a continuum of learning.

It has also resulted in some of my friends reciprocating.   Just yesterday I received two notes from two friends who I recently had written to.   What a wonderful thing to get.  Those notes from my  friends said I am thinking of you in a very concrete real way that trumps everything else that happened that day, the trials of the job, the rotten weather, how I feel, and everything else.   It was a reflection of the letters I had written back at me.

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8 comments on “Lost At of Letter Writing

  1. In the 90’s a friend and I pondered what we were losing now that more people were turning to email and such for communication – she pointed out so much of what we know about the daily lives of those far removed from us by time and space is because of surviving journals and letters…

    Alas, I’m still not the letter writer I should be – and I may I add that those who engage in such activity are doing their part to keep our Postal Service funded! 😀

  2. I enjoyed reading about your experiment to bring back letter writing. I agree it is a lost art. I have tried to get my kids to write out thank you notes to relatives, but it is definitely forced. On the other hand, I recently wrote 4 cards to friends I have not seen in a while. I was so pleased to receive a card back from one of them. After hearing your account, maybe I should resolve to do the same and reach out to more old friends and try to respark our relationship. There is nothing that says I care like a handwritten note on some carefully selected stationery.

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