The Dying Art of Writing Handwritten Letters
In today’s fast-paced culture, with its stresses and responsibilities caused by study, work, relationships and much more – many of us seem to have forgotten about the art of writing letters and the emotions that go into its creation by the sender and its reading by the receiver.
The ability to sit down in one place and focus one’s complete attention on one person for the amount of time it takes to think through, compose and to write a letter, solely for them? And the ability to make your words paint pictures, bring someone’s feelings alive – now that’s an incredible gift. A gift that has the potential to create a precious piece of life your loved ones can revisit and treasure. A series of letters can show the evolution of friendships and relationships with people.
Writing and sending letters is an age old practice – that has been used for centuries, and there is a history to it. The act of putting pen to paper is an ancient custom, one that is slowly dying out in today’s hurried lifestyle with communication on tap.
You may remember getting letters in the mail when you were younger sometimes with a card, an invitation or pictures or occasionally even a pressed flower. The excitement, the joy the feeling of being special and wanted – are not things that one can feel often – especially in today’s day and age. Add to that the chance of creating the same set of emotions in the hearts and minds of those who sent a bit of their soul to you. That’s a biggie all right.
So of you’d like to get back to or begin to indulge in the fine art of writing a handwritten letter – get started right away. Many folk would love to receive a letter from you ! Surprise your partner, child, grandparent, colleague , friend – just about anyone !. Write a note to someone who you appreciate. Or even do not appreciate ! The results may just surprise you !
The Power of Letters is something that’s being put to amazing use and effect. Watch this TED Talk featuring Hannah Brencher, an advocate for writing love letters to strangers. Each day, she gets handfuls of letters from people requesting love letters from strangers. If you sign up for the email list on her website, More Love Letters, you will receive an email every two weeks with individuals’ stories, asking for help to get through tough times.
While letter writing is an art that requires few supplies but some amount of effort in terms of time, creativity and thoughtfulness, it is still very rewarding for both the giver and the receiver. Research has found that “Expressive writing has been linked with improved mood, well-being, stress levels and depressive symptoms, as well as more physical benefits of lower blood pressure, improved lung and liver functioning.”
Here then are some tips and tricks to make writing letters easier and more meaningful.
- Shop for and keep pretty stationery, pens, and stamps nearby so you’ll get into the habit and be more likely to write.
- Set aside a fixed time time each week to write one or two letters. Disconnect your Internet, and write for at least 20 minutes.
- Include the date on your letter, at the top or at the bottom. it’s nice to know when the letter was written.
- A letter can be more meaningful – if you include a memory from an experience shared with the person to whom the letter is addressed. Or if you explain how they’ve influenced you. Try also including a picture of the two of you.
There is something very special and different about receiving a handwritten letter. Receiving letters or handmade cards evokes an entirely different feeling than getting a nicely written email or text. It’s like the words are somehow different than when received in another medium. So the next time you have something to tell a friend, or a loved one’s birthday is coming up – write it down instead of typing it out. Its guaranteed that they will appreciate it much more than if you send them a Facebook message or text.
With each letter that you write and mail or hand over to someone, you are starting a domino effect. Of great experiences and emotions.