Letter writing slowly became a lost art for many people with the onset of Computers. Granted, emailing took its place, but it isn’t the same.
I began writing letters when we moved from Redding, California, up to Kirkland, Washington, in 1979. My Mom got tired of me talking about how much I missed my girlfriend so one day she let me call her. What a joy to hear her voice and reconnect! I don’t know if Mom mentioned it or I thought of it on my own but I began to write letters after that. I was 9 and stamps were 8 cents.
Letter writing can be difficult for some, especially if you don’t like to write. You may get stuck not knowing what to write. You may view it as more of a chore than a wonderful process, as well as a joy for the person receiving your letter.
For those of us who love to write, letter writing is an activity that is fun! I would consider it a Hobby. I love choosing my paper, lined or plain? Or stationary? What kind of writing utensil – ballpoint or felt tip? What color pen? There are so many things to consider!
If you want to send a quick message it’s fun to find a Greeting Card that fits exactly what you want to say (I miss those – we don’t have them in Belize). Then there is the address label. I loved getting personalized address labels made!
Letter writing can take you deeper into yourself. As you recount your life, thoughts, behaviors, actions (well, depending on how ‘deep’ or ‘real’ you are in your letters, I suppose) you can learn a lot about yourself, what makes you tick and maybe even why you do what you do.
Writing letters can also help you solve your problems as you “talk out loud” knowing someone is “listening” on the other end. It can also help you process things as you write it all out and then send it off. Writing a letter to someone then burning it is a great way to release feelings.
Letter writing, for me, was always a way to connect and keep that connection alive. That friend I called back in 1979 — we wrote letters until we met up at college to be roommates in 1988!
There is also a thrill to the flip side — going to the mailbox to discover you have a letter!! Yippee!!!
I once wrote a letter that was 100 pages long. Granted, it was 1984 and my handwriting was big and I was using wide ruled paper and didn’t write on all the lines. Last year I wrote a 40-page letter. Apparently, I had things to say!!
I recently sent off a letter and a couple postcards and I was tickled with myself for taking the time to write. I felt it would be that little something extra so my friends knew I was really thinking about them.
I was clearing out some of my internet bookmarks today and ran across one that sparked this article. It’s a site called FutureMe: Write a Letter To Your Future Self. I love this premise! You can create a letter to yourself on this site and schedule it to be sent to you in 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, or a future date that you pick. Is that genius or what? You can make your letter public and/or anonymous, or private. What a fun way to document something and read it after you’ve probably long forgotten about it!
I’ve learned that a few of my friends still have all my letters. Oh, to read them today, what I would learn and discover about myself! I am a bit curious and scared! HA!
I remember following the standard for writing a letter. Date. Dear So-and-So. Paragraphs to form the body. Closing: Sincerely yours. I’m rolling my eyes now but it’s how we learned and does serve a purpose I suppose. I always struggled with how to sign my letters. “Sincerely” sounded old. “Love” sounded too big and serious. “Like” sounded weird. “Your friend” worked but felt cheesy. Nothing felt right for me! So, in 1983, I started signing my letters, “Just Jyll” and referred to myself as such ever since. My first website was justjyll.com. It’s always been who I am. Not “just” as in ‘that’s all there’ is but “JUST” as in ‘what you see is what you get’.
I choose to believe that everyone enjoys receiving letters so I will continue to write them. Do you like to write letters? What is your favorite part about writing a letter?