One day recently, I realised that I hardly ever write by hand anymore. Not properly anyway. I noticed that on the few occasions I had to sign for something, I almost couldn’t recognise the careless scribble on that dotted line. Turns out handwriting is something you have to keep up and pay attention to. So I decided to make a conscious effort to restore both the look of my writing and also the habit of sitting down with pen and paper.
Inspired by my five year old son who has got his first pen pal (my mother ❤️), I started writing letters again. It really is something different to firing off a quick text message on the train in the morning. I am sure everyone agrees it is lovely to receive a real hand written letter – and so rare these days. A total joy to find a beautiful envelope on the doormat in amongst the usual bunch of bills. But I had forgotten that it is really enjoyable to write them too. To sit down in peace with a candle lit, thinking about the person you are writing to and letting the words flow. The rasping sound of a fountain pen nib against textured paper – delicious.
Letter writing seems to be a dying phenomenon and what a shame that is. How many youngsters have ever received a good old fashioned love letter? Not enough of them I bet. And you can’t keep a text message hidden in your underwear drawer, it is just not the same. I think about all the biographers out there who rely on letters to infuse their stories with emotion and real people’s perception of events. What will they do in the future when there are no stacks of letters to be found? We will have to wait and see.
I am not one for resolutions or big life changes, but this is a small change of habit that so far I am really enjoying. Highly recommend dusting off the writing paper and best pen to anyone looking for a peaceful, reflective activity that saves you from scrolling the Netflix menu yet another evening. Write a letter instead and make someone happy.