I’ve taken it upon myself to start writing letters to people again. I haven’t really written a letter to someone in a long time. I’ve been sending cards to people lately with little notes in them, but I haven’t sat down to write a letter to anyone.
It’s a hard thing to look at a blank sheet of stationary and start writing a letter when you have no real purpose behind the letter other than wanting to write letters. First, you have to try to think of who you want to write to. Then you have to try to think of what you want to write about. Is there something bugging you that you need to get off your chest? Is there something you’ve been wanting this recipient to know for a long time? Is there some difficult topic that you have to deal with? Some bad news you have to break to them? Or, like me, is this something you’re using to personally check-in with friends and family who you feel like you haven’t connected to in a while? A way to re-connect without computers? Something more personal than a social media mass update? Whatever the reason, the blank page staring at you can be tough!
I even checked out a book and read about letter writing! It said that letter writing is very much about you, not the recipient. It’s often a way for the writer to deal with things. Most of the book was about letter writing with a purpose. Not just friendly notes to say you’re thinking of someone. It focused more on things like angry letters, break-up letters, love letters, recommendation letters, etc. It talked about not only the act of writing letters, but the ways in which we expect a response. And whether it is better to write letters and send them through the post office (and so have the lag time/anxiety of waiting for a response), or by e-mail lessening the time before possibly getting a response (although, not necessarily! And if you don’t get a timely response by e-mail, the anxiety can be a lot higher than if you posted the letter).
It’s very interesting to me. Plus, who doesn’t like getting letters or cards in the mailbox? It’s nice. It’s personal. It’s cheery (unless it’s a dreaded angry letter).
I like to write and I’m finding that I like hand-writing letters to people I care about. I like that it’s a real, tangible note. A personal check-in with someone else. I like it and I hope I can stick to it.