When was the last time you picked up a pen and wrote a letter? Nothing large, but more than what you would traditionally put on a pre-printed birthday card. A month? A year? More? Sadly, if you answered less than a year, you are in the minority. And that is a sad statement. I am writing this post using a computer, not pen and ink. There are a number of reasons for this, but despite how much care and feeling I put into the post, it will not likely echo from the screen. There will be no variation in line width, no variable height to the letter, no tactile feeling of the paper under your fingers. Your eyes will flick over the words, quickly, and move on to the next post, on the next web site. Unless I can hook you with my words, you will barely remember what I wrote by the time the next page loads.
Not so with a letter. Oh, you might not remember the exact content of it, but you might remember the condition of the envelop, or the colour of the ink. You might remember a passage when you see it laying in a drawer, or on a desk. But quickly the contents of the letter would come back. Shape of the letters would impart themselves, colour the words, and bring about a tone that the uniformity of a typewritten word can never convey. And yet, people are finding the convenience of sending an email, or a shorter text, the norm, rather than pouring their soul into a handwritten note.
But if you would like to change this, now is your chance. January 23rd is National Handwriting Day and if you are going to change your ways, this might be your incentive. If you are feeling very adventurous, Fahrney’s Pens, here in DC, are having a little contest that might further spur your creative juices.
In either case, take the opportunity to set pen to paper and write a letter. Start small. A small note is a good way to start. Soon you will be sending letters everywhere. And discovering the joy of handwriting.