To sit down, relax and get lost in the art of writing letters to family and friends used to be a regular habit of mine. Sadly, I haven’t given letter writing a regular slot on my schedule for some time. Sending out a handwritten card or letter has become something of a luxury nowadays, and I know that it’s simply a matter of prioritizing and making the time for it. I want to stay in touch with the special people in my life—that hasn’t changed. What has changed is the accepted routine of emailing, texting and messaging/posting on social media to communicate with the people in our lives. That said, I still have hope that putting just a little effort back into the letter-writing process on a consistent basis will gradually breathe new life into an activity that is still very much at my fingertips. In fact, I see no reason why letter writing needs to take a back seat to social media. Hashtags like #handwriting, #handwritingchallenge and #imbringingbirthdaysback are being used right now on Instagram, for example, to share photos and video of artistic handwriting and other handwritten letters, cards and notes being produced all over the world.
As someone who grew up writing to pen pals, the back-and-forth conversation that takes place in mailed letters is something I’m not ready to relinquish just yet. It’s strange to think of younger generations never being taught cursive or anything resembling penmanship in school. There is evidence that handwriting’s absence in education can have detrimental effects on student learning and performance, as shared in a recent article on CNN’s website. Not to mention, the joy of writing to and receiving letters from a pen pal is something special. And if you’re still keen on sending and receiving fun snail mail as an adult, there’s a place for you, as well: Swap-bot.com, for example, is a great website for creative people to host and join swaps of all kinds. I’ve used it many times to keep my creative juices flowing and have sent and received some very cool things. You choose how involved you want to be, and it’s free to join!
If you’re like me, a little inspiration never hurts when trying to reach a goal. April is National Card and Letter Writing Month, and I personally plan to write at least one letter/card every week leading up to April, and then more during that month. Hello!Lucky and Egg Press, two stellar card and stationery companies, host a Write_On campaign that challenges everyone participating to write 30 letters during April. The campaign’s website lists a host of reasons to write to someone, and these serve as excellent inspiration any time of year: Reasons to Write.
I hope you will join me and treat yourself to writing and sending at least one card or letter before April, and then maybe a few more during National Card and Letter Writing Month. Let’s keep each other going! Who will you write to first?
- Why handwriting is still important by Emanuella Grinberg (CNN article)
- Swap-bot website
- USPS Kicks Off National Card and Letter Writing Month (Press Release)
- Write_On campaign website