The Art of Letter Writing

 

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Letter writing is referred to as a “lost art” these days. I wouldn’t say it’s “lost” but it’s certainly in the danger of being so.

Hand-written letters used to be a main form of communication, because there was no other way. Then the telegram came, and telephone and faxes, and Internet. The world changed. Everything was required to be instant – and in these times of rapid pace, the slow process of writing letters lost ground to instant messengers and emails.

However, despite the changes in society, the art of letter writing has managed to survive. There are people who love to write and receive letters, though admittedly, there are far more of the latter.

Letter writing has become a hobby rather than necessity, but it survives. In fact, we’ve harnessed modern technology to spread that art such as communities of people who want to be pen-pals. 

Just like hand-written journals, there is something so powerful about hand-written letters. They feel so much more personal than emails. The whole experience begins from the moment you receive an envelope. You see hand-writing which you may or may not recognize. Then there is a stamp, usually from another country. When I receive a letter, it brings out that old-fashioned feeling of something wonderful arriving by post. Then there is the whole aesthetic aspect. It becomes a keepsake something to treasure.

A letter goes beyond what it says. It contains the handwriting of a person who sent it, maybe smudged ink or a crossed-off sentence, broken off thoughts. It’s an experience, not merely a narrative.

To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart.

– Phyllis Theroux

In A Journal of Letters course offered through Kaizen Journaling Academy, we take it a step further. We use letters, not simply to communicate or express our love of hand-written things, but we use letters to explore areas of our lives and our psyche that we may not have glanced at before, or not glanced at carefully enough.

In A Journal of Letters, I teach you how you can use the art of letter writing, not simply to regularly exercise your creative muscles, but for increased self-awareness, to understand what goes on in your head and your heart, and to more appreciate the world around you.

A Journal of Letters course starts on February 1st. Register here

If you’ve taken this course before, you can participate again for free. I will send out a reminder to all the old participants, but if you definitely want to participate again, simply send an email to dolly [at] kaizenjournaling [dot] com, and I will make sure you get the course material. 

 

ACTION YOU CAN TAKE TODAY

Write a letter to someone, and actually post it. 

 

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4 thoughts on “The Art of Letter Writing

  1. Lovely post, and such an important reminder. We need to write letters before the art is lost forever. I have a wonderful five-page letter from my father, expressing his love for me and reminding me of things that I did when I was a child and of my adult accomplishments, of which he was so proud. He could not express this in person, but when he picked up his pen, he poured out his soul! And imagine how much I treasure this letter, in his hand (and extension of his soul), now that he’s gone. John Donne said that “Letters mingle souls,” and it’s so true. I would also recommend to you Alexandra Stoddard’s marvelous book, The Gift of a Letter. She offers many interesting and inspirational insights. One year, I decided to track how many letters that I wrote (which included cards with shorter messages, too). It was over 4,000! It really is possible, if you prepare in advance, such as by having stationery, pens, addresses, and stamps handy! Thank you, Dolly, for such an important post.

    1. Lynn,

      4000 letters/cards!! Wow! That’s amazing.

      I totally agree that it is possible. The letter to your father, I think that’s probably one of the best gifts he ever received.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on letter writing, and for suggesting the book.

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