Does anyone really write anymore? I don’t mean type on a computer or tap out a text. I mean, use one of these things – pencils, pens, even a marker to write something you want to say to someone.
I know our world is immediate. We’re used to instant gratification. And sometimes that’s okay. The world moves at a faster pace, and there are times when a computer or keypad is the best way to get something done, or a message sent to someone. It helps us get our work done, connect quickly when we need/want to, and it’s been known to save lives. I won’t argue with that.
I’m talking about a different kind of writing – the kind of writing you do when you want to have a conversation with someone – to connect with them on a different level. Writing something in your hand forces you to slow down, collect your thoughts, and choose your words carefully. There is no “edit” button on a piece of paper (sure, you can throw it away and start over, but that gets pretty frustrating after awhile). Pencils with sturdy erasers might be a good choice to start with.
I know it can appear daunting – that vast expanse of blank, empty paper that seems to stretch into the next century. Where do you start? What can you possibly say that someone would want to read?
When I was in college, I saw an advertisement for a performance of “Love Letters.” I’m a hopeless romantic, so the title grabbed me right away. Then I read that the performance would be just two characters, reading letters they wrote to each other. Fascinating, but would it work? One of my professors was playing the male reader, so I decided to attend. I was spellbound. I attended three more nights, watched the movie version, and bought the book. (I won’t say more about it – you might want to check it out for yourself.)
Whether it’s a love letter, or simply a note to a friend, there’s something about writing that adds a human touch to the words you’re putting to paper. The reader can see the way you shape your letters, how you punctuate, and perhaps enjoy a doodle or two. It feels more sincere, more genuine, and reveals more about you as a person than the predictable font of a word processing program.
I found that I wrote differently when I put pen to paper as opposed to typing on a computer. I chose different words, elaborated on certain subjects, and I became more philosophical. I became more in touch with myself, what I wanted to say, and how I wanted to say it.
I savored the experience of writing love letters. It’s so romantic, even if you’re alone. Light a candle, pour a glass of wine, and the words will flow like you wouldn’t believe. Those days are probably behind me, but who knows? I’d like to think there’s someone out there who treasures a hand-written letter as much as I do. We’d start out as friends and see where it leads.