Thoughts about letter writing

When was the last time you wrote a letter? 💌

I used to write many letter by hand. I’d get creative, use different coloured markers, doodle little pictures to illustrate the pages… These letters would be sent to my grandmother in Switzerland or the school friends I left behind when we moved to Canada, and to various other family. I had very old great-aunts in Switzerland, an aunt in Italy, a cousin in Denmark, a friend in Germany… We wrote each other letters because back in those days, there was no email. 📝

Today, I write emails, and I text. I still write traditional letters to the surviving older family members, but I often type those out, print them and insert photographs for illustration. I don’t really hand write letters very often anymore. ✍️

For me, old-fashioned letter writing has kind of lost its appeal. I don’t even bother with cards much anymore, either.

But every once in a while, a letter in the traditional, meant-from-the-heart method rumbles out of my head. This happened to me recently, and since I typically sit at a keyboard, I let the words flow as they came.

When I was done, I stored my letter in one of my apps as I contemplated whether or not to send it.

I admit I do like neat and orderly presentation of words on screens and printed pages. I remember my handwritten letters as neat and colourful at the beginning and then messier, less structured toward the end. I don’t know why I couldn’t muster keeping focus to write neatly all the way through a single letter… But my typed letters, they’re neat and tidy, organized and structured. 🙄 #OCD

But back to my typed letter.

Writing it was the perfect exercise to address my wavering, somewhat unstable emotional state. If you read here regularly you know we’re still in lockdown (15 months and counting)… So when the words appeared, first in my subconscious and later in the tips of my fingers, I allowed them to flow into my keyboard.

The letter eventually left its home in the app and was received, and acknowledged, by its recipient, which is good. It pumped me up to write another letter to a different friend with whom I seem to have grown apart over the last little while…

But today, I didn’t feel like writing letters. Instead, I blogged about letter writing… 😀

Do you still write letters to people? Are they composed as email, or printed and mailed in envelopes? Or do you still write your letters by hand?

72 thoughts on “Thoughts about letter writing

  1. It’s been about 5 years since I’ve written a letter by hand, and that was to an imprisoned ex-friend of mine. Letter writing by hand has taken a back seat for me, but I do always handwrite notes in birthday cards I give to friends. I don’t mind e-letters, but it’s been awhile since I’ve written one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Funny timing, Ive been telling myself to write a letter from a while but delaying with some reason or the other. I think there’s something very powerful about a handwritten letter, a sense of emotion and truth to it which I don’t seem to associate with a typed one. Perhaps it is a block and my own limited view, but can’t seem to shake that feeling away

    Like

    1. You’re right about the emotion, I feel that too. When you receive a letter written by a child’s hand, say with different colours, you can almost picture them writing… that same sort of feeling does not translate when you type the words into a keyboard.

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The pen really is mightier than the sword. The art and craft of using a pen is well explained through letter writing here. What a fantastic read. I have more such suggestions as well! #mywordskraft

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

      There is scientific research that says writing by hand is very good for brain development in children… Wonder what this pandemic did to children’s brains with all this endless electronic activity… 😶

      Like

  4. I still write handwritten letters. It’s more personal and sentimental for both myself and the recipient, because of the effort that goes into writing the letter.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. Letter-writing is sadly dying out. I’ve never lived in the age when letter writing was the norm, but I personally LOOOVE writing letters. Too sad there aren’t pen pals. I pick up that pen to write a letter every chance I get. I write to let my friends know that they’re loved. Or to wish someone the best in life. It was glorious reading this post. I’d be enchanted if I received a letter with doodles like the one you described. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love writing letters too. Actually there’s this organisation called The Goodwill Tribe they take requests for people who you’d like to send a letter to and strangers from around the world write them letters. However, during the pandemic was the first time they went online with initiative however, you still had to send a scanned copy of your handwritten letter. It was wonderful writing to people having a hard time around the world and even more amazing when some of them actually wrote back to these complete strangers who’d send them letters. They’re back with this initiative with a new focus. It sounds like something you might like, I wrote a post about it so do check it out if you’d like to. You’ve got a lovely blog and I look forward to reading more. Have a good day!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Most of the writing I do is in my personal diary rather than a letter to someone. I started writing a letter to my nephew on the lines of advice to my younger self though of course he is not me he has been through some of the same transitions.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I found out about letter writing community last year and it fascinated me a lot. And then I started writing letters to my best friends and close family members. I have to admit, writing those letters gave me a very close connection with them.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Really nice post. Unless it’s a birthday or a really, really, special event, I honestly don’t think I ever write letters anymore. Emails and texts are just faster, more efficient and can still be as heartfelt as letters if written right, in my opinion, so yeah.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m technology driven too. Sometimes I’ll send pictures to older family with a typed letter (more technology) but add some handwritten notes. 🙂

      Thank you so much for commenting! I think many of us feel similar as you do. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I like the concept of writing letters, but absolutely can’t stand my own handwriting. It’s shaky and tedious and some of my letters look weird and others look like different letters and a few resemble paint splatters or bird droppings or…

    Well. You get the picture. Email for me!

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I wrote a letter to my best friend yesterday even though he stays 2 doors away from me!
    I just love the feel of my pen running against paper and the words forming… If I could, I would stop typing and just write but sadly, typing is very convenient and quick

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I recently cleaned out my desk in preparation of a remodel, I found 5 handwritten letters to my mom (now deceased), sister, and three friends. I failed to mail them as my mom was losing her battle with her health and I stuck them in my desk soon to be forgotten for four years. I handed them out a few weeks ago, they were thank you notes for a birthday long past. I gingerly opened the one to my mother in which I had thanked her for the last present she ever gave me? Sob, C

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s a lovely story even if it made you cry. I think this whole letter writing thing should be remembered, and passed on to the offspring, maybe… It’s not like anyone is going to sift through 7 million emails to find a personal note to a kid from a mom in 40 years from now or whatever… Sigh.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. My mom used to write me the sweetest notes and letters. Well, she wrote a couple that weren’t so sweet, too! The point is, now that she’s gone, I still have her thoughts to me on paper in her handwriting. She took the time to write to me and at the time, I didn’t nearly appreciate her words as much as I do now. It’s been four and a half years since she’s been gone and I miss her more than ever!

    If you have children or other loved ones, write them at least one handwritten letter from you and tell them what you love about them. You won’t regret it and they will cherish it more and more as the years go by. Now, I need to heed my own words and write my kids and husband long overdue letters. Thanks for writing this post! Mona

    Liked by 3 people

    1. What a wonderful idea. Another blogger mentioned something similar… I will consider doing this and leaving the letters in the safe. You never know and one day they will see, and appreciate, the letters on a level they probably can’t right now in their teenage years. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I rarely write letters. When my daughter was actually away at college I sent care packages with a handwritten note inside. I once mailed her a letter, but kids today (this includes my 20 something neighbors) don’t actually look in their mail boxes

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lol about the mailboxes!

      When my kids started school the amount of paperwork coming into the house was driving me mental. Opening the mailbox to nothing but flyers and junk mail was not causing me happiness either…
      But because I understood about letters I wouldn’t just take the pile and throw it in the recycling bin. I’d actually sort through it to make sure there wasn’t a letter stuck in there. Sadly they’re rarely was…

      Liked by 1 person

  15. It’s been years and years since I wrote a letter and I don’t miss it. As a lefty made to angle my paper like righties, writing has never been pleasant. I prefer a keyboard but even better, a phone call.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I just wrote to my Scottish blogging friend that I did an art Swap with, prior to that it was the Christmas cards I mailed out. Do not often for sure, but I do like to send letters on the occasion to friends that are far away.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. The closest I’ve come to a letter is whatever will fit in a card, or random notes I write to my girls sometimes.

    There IS something nice about receiving a letter through snail mail. Although, the last letter I got was from my ex, and that wasn’t fun😱

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I both miss and don’t miss letters arriving in the mail. Since I had school children the amount of paper coming into the house was insane. I’d rather get an email for that reason now…

      But it feels nostalgic, to think about the excitement of a snail mail letter…

      Liked by 2 people

  18. I wrote handwritten letters to my son and only child every year on his birthday, from age 1 to 18. He is 27 now and I have yet to give him the letters. They’re in a keepsake box that I’m thinking I’ll give him when he turns 30. I also wrote but never sent handwritten letters to my ex, as a way of working through my own pain. I found the letters during a purging session last year, and the searing heartbreak of the letters had me sobbing. I kept the letters as a reminder to never let myself get to that point with anyone ever again. Finally, I wrote a letter to my father when he died in 2018, and put it in the wooden box with his ashes.
    Other than these emotional letters, I can barely scribble a note on a greeting card, and then it’s an e-card. You’ve given me an idea for writing letters for Christmas. Maybe if I start now I’ll get a few done by then.
    Thank you for this post.❤💫

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Wow. I get it, writing letters and not sending them…there is something therapeutic about that, isn’t there. And the keepsake for your son sounds so lovely! Does he know about it or not yet? I mean, did you give him the letters and then kept them for him, or you wrote them without giving them to him?

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I actually wrote during the lockdown here but the person I was writing to hasn’t sent me a letter back. My friend and I actually used to write a lot of letters to each other in college. I miss it.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. Handwriting a letter gives more personality to the correspondence because nobody writes the same. There’s more effort involved, and if you are like me, mistakes get made and can’t get covered up – just scratched out. If you are like my dad, then that’s not the case as I have never seen a letter or card that he is written with a error.
    I still write my poem and story ideas on paper, but it’s been a while since I’ve written a letter to someone. Most of the people I am close with are in close proximity, so not much need.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m not a neat hand writer and it bothers me when I can’t read someone else’s writing either…

      But you’re right. The effort is there and there is also the whole ‘hand to brain’ activity that is supposed to be good for you as well…

      Liked by 1 person

  21. You can use a cursive font for your letters. It might appeal to the people reading it.

    I used to write lots of letters. I had a few people who I wrote great letters to. Sadly, our friendship crumbled.

    When I lived in Japan, I was more likely to send postcards, but I do remember a letter my friends sent that they group wrote while at a bar. It was like I was there with them.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I thought it was rather cool. I credit my friends with having writing styles (both in word choice and penmanship) that were quite distinctive. It was like I was at the bar with them.

        Liked by 1 person

  22. I miss handwritten letters and used to write them all the time. Now, adding personal notes to cards is about the extent of it. Texting has killed letters and while it’s fast and convenient, an emoji just isn’t the same.

    Liked by 6 people

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