I love writing and receiving letters and I have been lucky that there have been friends and family members throughout my life who also like writing letters and who will write back!
Although letter writing is a disappearing joy in the age of electronic and instant communication, here are 8 reasons I think we should all write a few letters occasionally.
8 Reasons to Write a Letter to Someone
It makes both you and the receiver feel good - There is something so lovely about both writing and receiving a handwritten letter. The writer has taken time to sit down, think of what they want to say, hand write that message, find their friend's address, get a stamp and walk to the postbox and post it. They have allocated that time to you, it is also why writing a letter feels so good. You are making time to connect with someone you love in a calming and mindful way with the aim of sharing information or something nice that has happened.
- You can make it pretty! - There are an almost unlimited number of ways to customise your letters and envelopes. You could make your own envelopes, add stickers, decorate with your own artwork or add paper confetti (my personal favourite). You could also add little treats, mini stickers, gifts or mini artwork as little extras for your recipient to open and find.
3. Connect to people who may not use electronic media as much - While many people now use electronic means of communication much more than hand written methods, there are a lot of people who are either not able to access the technology, may not feel confident in knowing how to use it or simply don't like using email, text or messenger. So communicating by letter might be a much more accessible and relaxing form of connection.
4. Makes you practice your handwriting in a time where typing and tapping are king - We have never "handwritten" less than we do now. We tap type on our phones, make digital or voice note shopping lists, type letters and messages and get in touch with people via video call or text. I can certainly tell when I haven't hand written for a while and my hand writing gets sloppy or my hand hurts after writing a small amount. Learning to write is such a valuable and enjoyable skill and keeping those skills topped up is equally important as studies have found that "hand writing" engages different parts of the brain to when we type on a keyboard.
5. It is a much more in depth form of communication - You can make your letters as long and rambly as you want without running out of characters and you also don't have to worry about attachment sizes when including a few photos!
6. It is more permanent and creates a record - Emails, messages and video calls are all transient methods of communication and very rarely last more than a couple of years before being lost or deleted. Letters however can last for decades and form a snapshot of what was going on in our lives at a specific time, who we were talking to and what we were feeling. Providing us with a written record of different stages in our lives. I have letters from friends and family members from my childhood and teenage years, as well as from important landmarks in my life and they provide such a vibrant memory prompt to what was going on at the time and of course a wonderful snapshot of the person writing to me.
7. It's a calming and and reflective method of communication - Writing a letter forces you to slow down, mindfully consider what you are going to write and communicate in a creative way. Many studies have found that the act of writing by hand changes and challenges the brain in unexpected ways including improving our hand/eye coordination and helping children to recognise and remember letters. It also forces us to engage our spelling skills rather that rely on spellchecking software.
8. You will (hopefully) receive a letter back! - It's a lovely feeling to see a letter on the doormat waiting for you when you get home.
Some easy prompts to get you into letter writing:
- Find something like a magazine article, event flyer or book that you would like to send to someone, this gives you a perfect excuse to write an accompanying letter. Even if you would normally just share it on social media, make a conscious effort to use this as a push to write a letter.
- Write a thank you letter - everyone appreciates receiving a lovely thank you letter.
- Connect with someone who doesn't usually use social media or electronic communication and send them a letter to keep in touch.
- If something exciting or lovely has happened to a friend or family member why not send a letter to congratulate and celebrate with them on their achievements or news.
I hope you've enjoyed reading this little ode to letter writing and that it has given you a few good reasons to start writing more. Thank you for reading!
If you would like something else to read, you can find my other blog posts here
Or if you are on the lookout for some nature themed writing paper sets then you can see all my writing paper sets here
Sources and Links to Further Information:
https://scholar.googleusercontent.com/scholar?q=cache:lCVoXkqeK8IJ:scholar.google.com/+Is+Handwriting+Relevant+in+the+Digital+Era%3F+&hl=en&as_sdt=0,5 - Is Handwriting relevant in the digital era by Eleni Karavanidou
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0963721417709821 - The Importance of Handwriting Experience on the Development of the Literate Brain by Karin H. James