The Handwritten Letter

ImagePhoto Credit: The Guardian

Be honest, when was the last time you wrote or received a handwritten letter from someone? I wrote one in February and got one in return in March, but since I’m a horrible friend I never wrote back. Even though it was my idea to write them in the first place.

I may or may not have mentioned in a previous post that I keep ALL of the writing I ever receive from anyone. I have a number of handwritten letters from a friend of mine who likes getting mail that isn’t just bills. I have a game of Pictionary I played with a friend of mine for my birthday in 2010. I have all of the birthday and graduation cards I’ve received over the last few years. I have pretty much everything anyone has written for me anytime recently. Why, you ask. Because I think I know a little about how difficult it is to write ANYTHING. And since none of the people I have letters or cards from is a writer, that makes me appreciate the fact that they wrote something for me even more. Because let’s face it, if you aren’t a writer then you likely hate writing anything that isn’t a tweet or text message. Because it’s a difficult thing to do.

I wish I’d get more written letters because they’re so freaking awesome. Seriously, I love the feeling of opening that envelope and having absolutely no idea what I might find inside. I want a pen pal. Someone give me your address so we can exchange letters. I promise to make you laugh every single one I send you. 🙂 But really, you guys are so fun to talk to. Let me write you a letter! That came out way more demanding than I’d intended. Let me write you a letter, please. How’s that?

How do you feel about sending and receiving letters? I’m obviously in love with them. And you should be too.

97 thoughts on “The Handwritten Letter

  1. I love receiving letters, but I don’t enjoy writing them as much. Reason being that I find the actual act of handwriting a bit cumbersome, my hands start to ache after a while. It may be because I don’t do handwriting often enough, whatever. But I think it’s good to write to people now and then.

    I have a friend who lives in London (I live in Bristol, UK) who I write to. We’re friends on Facebook but now and then we write to each other and actually we’re not in contact on Facebook that much. As I said, it’s lovely to receive a letter in the post. Like you pointed out, you don’t know what’s in it and that makes it so much more exciting! Emails are much quicker of course, but not half as interesting!

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    • Ew. Emails. I do agree with you. I usually write a lot whenever I do write letters and my hand hurts afterward. But I still like getting them. They’re so darn cool!

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  2. OMG, Pen Pal!!! The last time I had a pen pal was in elementary school. In second grade at my kids’ school they have pen pals. I realized recently how much I miss that!

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  3. I have a friend who moved to Wyoming a few years back and we’ve been exchanging letters lately. We used to write to each other even though we lived in the same town. And I also keep every single letter I’ve received over the years. I have boxes of them 🙂

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  4. I still have stationary that I purchased when I was in the military almost 30 years ago that I used only once. I think I will write my relatives letter using that old stationary and see who returns a letter instead of email.

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  5. Letter writing–actually putting pen to paper, as opposed to banging something out in email or text–is a dying art. If you enjoy reading great letters, you should should check out Hunter S. Thompson’s two volumes of published correspondence: “The Proud Highway” and “Fear and Loathing in America.” Brilliant stuff.

    Technology may have its benefits, but it’s killing a lot of great things.

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  6. I love the written word in all of it’s many contexts. I wish it were still in use more often. People call it snail mail, but if it takes time that only means it matters more. I would love to have a pen pal, yet I fear writer’s block like the plague. Either way I loved your post, and fully agree with it. A movement should be started to remind people of the importance of the written word, not only for study, but for enjoyment and friendship. Children are forgetting basic penmanship, or worse, never learning it at all. Starting today I’m going to cultivate writing in my daily life.

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  7. You’re speaking my language here, John. I’m an ink-and-paper man through and through. Writing of any nature is a rapidly evaporating relic of the past, and I believe it’s up to guys (and gals) like us to keep the river flowing! Nicely done!

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  8. I’d LOVE a pen pal again! Good lord I think I was 13 the last time I eagerly ran to the mailbox after school. 🙂 But I live in Norway, so anyone wanting to spend a little extra on stamps and receive letters full of daily thoughts and worries and joys I’d be HAPPY to be your pen pal!

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  9. Hahaha that’s genius idea! I’m not very good in keeping a constat flow because I’m too absorbed by the millions things I have to do every day, but I’d love to! I used to have penpals in elementary school. But you’re right, paper is something different. This is why I decided that my next novel will be written on a notebook first and then put on the computer. Well, a part from NaNoWriMo book, for time reason!

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  10. I love letters. When a teenager I had many penpals, USA, Finland, Japan, Italy and England. I am still friends with the one from England, our first letter was thirty two years ago and we’ve never met. We now communicate via Facebook. FB has ruined it all haha

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  11. I love getting letters and writing them! I used to write with a friend in North Dakota all the time but we haven’t in years! It made getting the mail fun since all you get nowadays is junk or bills!

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  12. Pingback: Finding new Books to Read | Write me a book, John!

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