I am a sucker for Jane Austen novels. The way the characters communicate is so magical. I think one of my favorite tools is the letters that the characters write to one another. There is something wildly romantic about a handwritten letter. Unlike the keyboard most of us use as communication central, bringing pen to paper makes the words an extension of the writer. Writing is both reliable and dangerous in its permanence. We can read a letter over and over again. Truths can be found hidden in the handwriting. Technology may allow us to be more connected, but writing allows us to be intimate.
There are less personal reasons to write letters as well. Letters are integral in historians’ ability to build accurate pictures of the past. They are the basis for philosophical, religious and political texts. Letters are even the structure of many fictional books. So, even if you aren’t the sap that I am, you can still recognize that this is an art form that should not disappear.
Think letters don’t have a place in contemporary culture? A friend recently decided he was interested in a girl who lived on the other side of the country. Instead of allowing this relationship to simply be formed over phone calls and skype, he added another layer to it. He wooed her with a letter campaign. Needless to say the boy got the girl.
With that, I challenge you to write a letter. (The challenge is for me as well!) Not a quick three sentences in a greeting card, but an actual letter. Not sure where to begin? Check out the below stationary and you may find yourself inspired. Happy writing!