It’s fair to say that we love print. But, there’s something else we love just as much – and that’s writing.
It’s one of the first things you’re taught at school, and one of the first ways you’re taught to express yourself. From an early stage, thoughts of perhaps one day becoming the next Wilde, Wells or Wodehouse are planted in our heads.
So what is it about the written word that makes us go giddy? Its growing rarity in the day of email, technology and text speak? Perhaps its intimacy, history and freedom? Or the fact we see the process: scribbled out sentences, the misspelt words and the unique scratch of someone’s handwriting (instead of the ease of the delete button)?
We think it’s the simple joy it brings – whether you’re the one opening an envelope, or the one sealing it before sending your handwritten note to a client or customer, friend or family member, knowing it’s going to brighten their day. At MOO, we’re all about the simple stuff; we know it’s the little things that make the biggest difference: the hand written thank you note in a customer’s order; the quality of paper you’ve used; the arch and swoop of every letter.
This all begs the question – why have we all stopped writing, when it’s such a brilliant way to communicate with someone?
The age old question – why do we write? Letters were sent around the country and across the world as one of our sole methods of communication. Now, however, we rely on emails and social networking sites, turning the letter into a lost art.
So why don’t we give it up? Why not stop teaching children how to hold a pen, and give them a keyboard instead? That’s more than likely going to strike fear into the hearts of any and all reading this – but putting pen to paper is no longer our favourite way to communicate – why do we still insist upon it?
Easy: because writing means more than communication, more than getting a message to someone else. It’s a process – a process that means something to both the writer and the recipient. It’s a way of pulling someone out of the crowd and making him or her realise they’re different: that they mean more than just a hurriedly typed email. Writing is more expressive: you don’t have control-alt-delete at your fingertips, so every mistake is recorded – not just the final product – allowing the reader to see your train of thought.
A handwritten note – whether it’s a message in a card or a good-morning note – can brighten up any day, and will usually take pride of place on a windowsill, desk or bedside table for a long time afterwards, much longer than the lifetime of an email. Letters are something to treasure, proof that someone values you enough to take the time out of their day to do more than a text or email: they become a souvenir.
Not only do letters have the personal touch, emphasise the amount of effort a person has made, and evoke a certain sentiment within us all, but there’s also a scientific side to this art. Letters and notes engage more senses than an email does – the feel of the paper, indents from the pen’s nib, slight scuffs and rips, as well as the smell of it: the knowledge that someone took the time to handle it, write on it, and send it to you.
Letters and notes make us feel special, regardless of whether we’re the ones writing them, or the ones receiving them.
yes! writing is noticing and being noticed. love this!
I make an effort to write REAL letters and notes to my two grandsons regularly. I also use e-mail, texting, Skype, etc. on a regular basis, but the handwritten messages add the element of care that helps me reach across the miles to two little boys (and my daughter and son-in-law) who love the surprise of an envelope addressed just to them! Thank you for the excellent article.
I am so happy to see what you are doing. Yes, handwriting is king. In my 10 years of talk show (Love Letters Live) and workshops on writing a perfect love letter, I have come to see that every letter changes a life; some in huge ways, some in small, but always some change for the good and for generations! Come pay a visit to http://www.loveletterslive.com if you like and say hello.
With love in the air,
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