In the digital age, where social media, email, Skype and smart phones are the name of the game, the art of the handwritten letter writing is drifting into darkness.
Remember letters? Not the ones in your email box, but the ones you received in the post. To keep up with the rapidly changing times, email seems to be the preferred method of communication. Do you remember the first time you ever wrote something to someone you loved, by hand?
Maybe you wrote it on a postcard, saying something intimate and (hopefully) persuasive with a blue Parker fountain pen – you know, those pens with the gold nibs that teachers used to make you use at school. Perhaps that postcard still exists somewhere – it’s quite hard to throw away a postcard, and much easier to put it into a box that slowly graduates towards the loft or back of a dusty cupboard.
These days, you’re probably doing exactly what everyone else does when it comes to writing something to a loved one – you send a text, tweet, email or a message on Facebook. And you most likely used something that involved an electricity supply rather than a pen and paper to do it. Handwriting is vanishing from our lives.
Perhaps the last thing you wrote was for your eyes only – a hastily scribbled note, a shopping list or a reminder.
That said, electronic letters are hugely convenient – they’re often more readable, they’re received almost as soon as they’re finished by the writer and can be passed on when they contain important information relevant to a whole family or group of people as soon as they’ve been received. But will they ever be as richly caring as the handwritten letter, peppered with a particular personality?
Handwritten letters are incredibly personal. When apologising or sending love wishes, the effort present in a handwritten message proves the writer's desire; however, an email is extremely impersonal. There seems to be no effort in typing and emailing someone. To say “I love you” in an email would take away all romance from the recipient. A handwritten letter would most certainly be the best option for a personal message of love or forgiveness.
To get more people putting pen to paper and writing by hand more often, you can get your hands on stylish personal stationery, namely visiting cards, correspondence cards and much, much more – a new must-have where fashion meets function. The best bit is you get to customise your stationery with font combinations, colour choices or even envelope lining options.
Letter writing, in whatever form it takes, is healing and helps thwart the hurry of modern life. It compels us to slow down a little and concentrate on what we want to say. Whether you're a holidaymaker, birdwatcher, artist, gardener, teacher, author, or just someone who likes to make a note of random stuff, write it – preferably on stylish letter writing paper.
After all, the physicality of holding a pen and languorously pouring out thought on paper is a force to be reckoned with. It's about stopping what you're doing, and taking the time to relish in writing.