I grew up making special occasion cards for birthdays, Valentines, and Christmas. Then, a cross-country move and the resulting loneliness, brought about my introduction into the world of pen pals.
For over a decade now, I have written weekly letters to various friends and family members. It has become a tradition. A sacred ritual, which allows my mind to still and soul relax as I collect and arrange my thoughts on paper.
Letter writing has become part of my love language, my art form.
Alas, it is an art which is gradually perishing in our instant text-message, snap-chatting world.
I, however, have no intention of casting aside my fountain pen! Hand-written correspondence may be old fashioned, but it still has power to enrich our lives. How you ask?
Allow me to count the ways….
7 Reasons to Revive the Dying Art of Letter Writing
1. It’s a Special Expression of Love
Receiving a letter in the mail holds an extraordinary kind of wonderment, like finding a gem hidden amongst a pile of pebbles. It makes people feel special. Valued. By writing a letter you express love in a unique manner, which demonstrates that the recipient is held dear in your heart and thoughts. In today’s fast-paced world, taking the time to sit and put pen to paper shows a conscious effort on your part to make the addressee a priority. An intimate connection which texting cannot replicate.
2. It’s an Art Form
To me, each part of a letter is a work of art. The stationary, decorated beautifully with a reflection of the writer’s personality and style. The ink, whether in classic black or an indigo hue. The words, pondered and written one-by-one to convey an emotion or memory. And last but not least, penmanship and calligraphy. Perhaps the greatest display of art in a letter, penmanship is also an important skill which deserves to be preserved for the enjoyment of future generations.
Writing things by hand has been scientifically proven to aid and increase one’s memory recall. By creating the individual letters and connecting them together, you’re entrenching passages in your memory, which can improve your spelling and help you remember details like names and addresses.
4. It Allows Reflection & Relaxation
The act of composing a letter creates in your day a moment to disconnect from the 21st century, cyberspace hustle. You can slow down. Put up your feet. Sip a cuppa whilst reflecting upon the event you wish to share or the person you wish to encourage.
5. It Reaches Out to Those Offline
Prepare your heart for this shocking fact—not everyone in the world uses e-mail or social media. (Is your heart still beating? Good, I shall carry on.) Indeed, many people—the elderly, inhabitants of rural areas without Wifi, or those who are simply old fashioned—can easily be overlooked because they don’t use internet-based communication. Letters, however, can reach those who might otherwise be forgotten.
6. It Connects us to the Past
While writing a letter, your imagination can travel back in time and revel in the ways of yesteryear. Back when one wrote by gaslight or flickering candle flame. When receiving letters was an anticipated event, and writing them an enjoyable pastime, a tangible way of connecting two hearts across the miles.
7. It Connects us to the Future
There’s a reason people save old letters rather than old e-mails. Letters retain a tangible piece of the person who penned them, even after that person is gone. Not simply their words, but their hearts expressed through those words. Their state of mind and personality reflected in each unique stroke of the pen. In the years to come, your grandchildren might want to read a letter you wrote. Hold it in their hands. Tell stories. Remember. Who are we to deny our progeny such a treasure?
Do you have a cherished letter written by a friend, relative, or departed loved one? I’d love to hear about it in the comment section below. And for those interested in reviving the art of letter writing, Victorian Trading Co. is a wonderful place to acquire the needed supplies.