The Ancient Art of Letter Writing


I have a confession. My penmanship is terrible and it is not getting any better. The typewriter and computer have really made handwriting nearly obsolete. When I do have to write something down, it is obvious I have forgotten everything I learned in Engish classes growing up. I’m not talking about the grammar-which could use some improvement. I’m talking about the actual text. In an attempt to to write more formally, I try my hand at cursive.  However, what starts out in cursive ends in non cursive.  Furthermore, I tend to mix my upper case with lower case and voila! There is a jumbled mess on the paper decipherable only to myself.

I could just say forget it, but if I let the basics, such as writing, get away from me- what would be next? I decided to take on a 30 day letter writing challenge.  Through this challenge I hope to not only get back the lost art of letter writing, but also get in touch with people I have not spoken to in a long time. In today’s fast paced society, it is easier and less expensive to send a text or fire off an email. I certainly enjoy writing and by writing actual letters I am forcing myself to slow down and carve some time out of my day to think about the words I’m writing on paper and the person I am writing to.

Day 1: June 1

There is a woman in my sorority who always sends me Christmas cards and other notes throughout the year. She had been on my mind to contact for some time. As I sat down to address the envelope, I really struggled. Any other time I would scribble something, post it and not give a care in the world if it was legible. This time I was very careful and the process was very tedious and time consuming.  Thankfully, I decided to write in pencil so I could erase at will. “How do I connect those letters?” “That doesn’t look like an ‘a’ or ‘o'”. These are just a few of the conversations I had in my head as I grasped my mechanical pencil tightly and desperately tried to piece five sentences together. “Thank God, there is no more room on this card…Sincerely, Natasha.”

I didn’t time myself but I do know that several songs played before I was actually finished writing this brief card and my hand hurt immensely.  “Why did I take on this silly challenge? Why didn’t I choose a quick challenge such as dumping ice on myself?”

I hope everyone who receives a letter from me appreciates the effort:) I’ll check back in at the end of the month to tell you how I made out.

One response »

  1. I cannot wait for my letter! So funny because I was just thinking that I needed to do some writing of my own (for a less-casual purpose) and that the last thing I want to do is look at a computer screen after a long day of work. I was thinking of cracking open the many notebooks that I have accumulated (and never used) in grad school. I don’t know about you, but I feel most creative when I am putting “pen to page”!

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