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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      • HAHAHA That couldn’t be more true! She always told me how little there was to do up there!
        Actually we had a lot to talk about! We gamed together and were into a lot of the same nerdy stuff.

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      • I know! Hahaha you fit the stereotype well. At least what we see in the media as girls who are nerds. But I don’t know if you fit the whole “I study every second of the day and I have to go to Harvard and be a doctor or else my life is a failure.” Unless that’s you too. Then that’s just awesome. Haha

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      • I used to! I was a nursing student (not anymore due to circumstances out of my control) but if I wasn’t sleeping I was studying. It took me a while to get used to free time again!

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      • Oh man. You’re smart. Love books. Total nerd. Probably read way too much. Funny. You can’t really be that perfect. Hahaha I bet you have a deformed foot. Or missing finger.

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      • I try not to focus on my flaws! I would love to write a novel but can never get far because I never follow through. I’m also not the best with grammar and such! Oh and my nose isn’t straight. It got broke in high school…

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      • You still haven’t told me one. Writing a book is ridiculous. There’s no shame in not being able to, BUT I bet you can. And I bet it’d be pretty freaking good. 🙂

        What the heck were you doing in high school to break your nose!?

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      • Well if I ever finish it I’ll send you a copy! And horsing around in a pool. A persons head collided with my poor little nose. I was also in a car accident and the airbag smashed into my face so that didn’t help!

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      • Better be signed! With some witty little message ending I’m an exclamation mark. Haha

        Geez. Neither of those sound good at all. No pools and no car rides for you and your nose. Get a moped. Haha

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      • Haha do you know what you just said!? A moped gang? Hahaha I saw a young girl the other day leaving the gym on a motorcycle. I thought that was great. I just laugh at people on mopeds. Haha

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      • Nope. Cause you’re so nice. And funny. Cause what if one day I write a post with no Likes or comments? Then you’d have to tell me about your awkwardness so I forget about my lonely blog. But if you’re not reading then I’ll just be sad. :\

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      • Eh. You never know. I could write about Twilight and turn everyone away. Haha

        Are you on Twitter? Cause I’ll follow you if you are. I bet your tweets would be rather hilarious, without you trying of course. Haha

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      • Must be crazy town. My blog links to mine and I occasionally scroll through my news feed looking for memes. That’s it. You’re lame. And dinosaurs are awesome. And dead. Haha

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      • Only cause you’re nice. And I’m making sure you actually read my blog. 😉 cause if you talk to me then you will, if you don’t then you won’t. No secret agenda or anything. Nope.

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      • Tell me something I don’t already know. I write it all. Haha. And so you know, I post at the same time everyday. 9:40 AM central time. So now you have no excuse not to read. I’ll yell at you.

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      • Encouraging yelling but yes! I really think this story that’s in my head is something that needs to be told. I just need to focus myself and write

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      • Okay.

        Nerdy Aly, you just told me that you have a story in your head that you sincerely believe needs to be told. But you aren’t working to tell it. Ask yourself why. Then whatever crap answer you give yourself, forget it. Cause it’s nothing but an excuse. You NEED to be writing. You WANT to be writing. And I want you to send me my signed copy. So we have a dilemma here that needs fixing. Every time you tell yourself you should be writing, stop it. Don’t TELL yourself that, just get over to your computer and do it. Because I bet it’s a pretty darn good story that needs to be told. 🙂

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      • Good point! I will do just that! And you will get a signed copy. And it will be signed from Nerdy Aly with lots of exclamation points!!!! 🙂

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      • I didn’t really yell. More like a pep talk. Haha and you better! I only have a few books signed by their authors, so it’d be great! 🙂 And I didn’t nickname any of them. Haha

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      • I beta read for an author (books I know you won’t like). I named her first book and I’m mentioned in the acknowledgements for it! So I might have to do the same for my motivator/nicknamer!

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      • Ooooh. You beta read AND named her first book!? Geez. Um you can’t put me in your Acknowledgements when you get there. I’d seriously cry. And then you’d laugh at me. The only people in mine were my family, beta readers, and people who let me steal their names.

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      • Ahaha I was pretty excited when she decided to pick my title instead of her original idea! She named a character after me in her newest book! Speaking of your book, it sounds interesting! I might have to give it a shot. It’s not my typical genre but I might check it out:)

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      • I’m surprised an author would let anyone but their agent or publisher name their book. You must have helped her a lot. And a character!

        Want a copy signed copy? 🙂

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      • Hmm. Maybe you’ll name my second one? Haha

        Welllll on one condition, would you beta read my second one once it’s written? I already have a few others who I know would read it and tell me everything that needs to be better. All bloggers cause there are so many great writers on WordPress! Soooo if you say okay, then you can DM me your address and I shall mail you a copy.

        By the way, it won’t be the greatest book you’ll ever read. And there are typos because evidently three or four drafts isn’t enough to find them all, but I worked crazy hard on it and it’ll be signed AND my second one will hopefully be more polished. 🙂

        So just say okay. 🙂

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      • What!? No. That’s unacceptable. Seriously. All this time on WordPress and Twitter you should have forced yourself to sit at your computer with no phone or anything and write!

        Tomorrow after you get off work or play your games or whatever you might do, you’re going to write something. Cause I’m going to ask you if you did. And if you didn’t then I’m not sending you your book. Until you do.

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      • You’re already making an excuse for tomorrow. Stop it. Right now. I think you should go to sleep unless you want me to keep yelling at you. Haha

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