Choosing a topic when writing a letter by hand

I used to write a lot of letters. Partly this was to stay in touch with my family in Europe after we left to move to Canada when I was 11. My grandmother in particular enjoyed the letters and always responded.

I looked forward to her mail. ❀

Some of my πŸ‡¨πŸ‡­ school friends too would send me letters. One girl in particular, her name is Gabi, she would use different colour markers for each paragraph. She was so creative; I wonder if I kept any of the letters I used to get from her?

Aside note: She is still creative. Today we see each other in facebook and on Instragram. She creates these fancy, amazing cakes…check out her feed!

Anyway. Recently, a blogger I’m connected with talked about letter writing, and sending Christmas cards, the old fashioned way. There are several people who seem to be doing this lately…long story short, we exchanged addresses and started talking about sending letters. πŸ“ βœ‰ πŸ“¬

But like him, I’m stumped too. What is the topic we should write about in snail mail letters? What do we talk about that we haven’t already discussed on social media, in blogs, via email?

When you keep a blog and invite readers to comment on your topics, it’s inevitable that you get to know one another to some degree. Many of my followers are parents like me, and another group are empty nesters…we share things just by having kids either here now, or already flown the nest.

I’ve met other women who are similar age as me, who are either with or without partners and families, who struggle through some health issues. Another connection made via blogging.

Similarly, others are pet owners and share their stories in their blogs. I like reading about the pet adventures people share, and god knows there’s plenty of pet fodder right here in my own pages. You can read about them here, or here and here.

So what does this mean? Are parenting and pet stories good topics for snail mail letters?

Here’s my reaction:


So what does that leave us with?

We could talk about other things that drive us, or interest us. I know that there are many fellow Canadians who love nothing more than to debate the weather in their corner of the πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ Great White North…β˜€β˜”πŸŒ¨πŸŒ§πŸŒ¦β„

Or we could talk about cultural food experiences, but that too is something that seems to only interest a few select foodie types…

We could talk about books we’ve read and the impressions they made on us, kind of like a snail mail book club…but that, too , exists on the web.

What else?

Hobbies? Aspirations? Health?

I just don’t know…

So how about this. One time I got an email from a blogger which consisted of a list of questions.

What do you want to know about the person you’re writing to/with, that you don’t already know?

Maybe this is a topic worth exploring…survey type letters. Questions begging for answers. You could put your own spin on it, inject some humour if you want, choose serious or silly, dig into a person’s past or their imminent future…

There are many possibilities.

And yes, I realize this is easily done via email or blogging, as well. But think about it this way:

When you send your questions to your friend via a posted letter, you have to wait for the response.

There is no guarantee you will get a response, but isn’t it delicious to anticipate one?

What will the letter say? Will it answer the questions to your satisfaction? Will you want to know more, after? Will this spur on another letter writing activity?

Tell us what you think. Is this something worthy further exploration?

Will you take up the lost art of letter writing by hand?

20 thoughts on “Choosing a topic when writing a letter by hand

    1. My mom picked up a pen pal in England when she received a note that her letter did not reach the intended person as that person had died. Now she and the person who informed her of the death of my mom’s friend have become pen pals. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  1. There’s something about receiving a real letter in the post – and knowing that it required effort to write, and a world of small cogs to turn to deliver it to you. There’s something about having a tangible object in your hand that left theirs. There’s just something about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pen pals. I used to have one in Finland when I was about 11 years old. And I used to write to my music teacher in Oklahoma after we moved. It carried over into adulthood. But I can’t remember the last time I wrote a letter now. Makes me kind of sad….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this idea of writing letters, it is a lost or at least dying art.
    That said, we do have the whole of the internet at our fingertips, which makes letter writing less immediate.
    As far as I can tell, this is a good and bad thing. Sometimes we need information or conversations to be quick. Sometimes the anticipation is what we’re craving.
    I send little pressies to my girls all the time, always with a handwritten note. But I do miss writing long newsy letters like I did when everyone was away at different schools and there was no such thing as the internet. All we had then was our parent’s long distance card numbers and a boat load of stamps. *nostalgic sigh*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know. I like email and all that…but for the noncritical stuff, I don’t mind letters.

      I must say I sometimes type out longer letters, insert pictures etc. For the seniors in my family I use a larger font. It’s easier to read, quicker for me to type, but it’s still sent the traditional way.


      Liked by 1 person

  4. My sister tried to do this a few years ago. She sent not one letter. I think we’re used to the immediacy of responses now. I do the card thing, but that’s about the only time I mail anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Fun to hear that the lost art of snail mail may make a comeback! I have a set of 12 cards (one for each month) to send to my daughters this year. I’m anxious to get started on those to surprise them with thoughts on their growing up years. Whoever gets your letters will enjoy the new colorful markers you have! Happy writing to you!

    Liked by 1 person

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