For a work assignment – if you dare believe it – one of my colleagues had to write a love letter. Wild stuff. Interesting stuff.
And as we all reviewed it, we got to talking about love letters and letters in general. (I personally hope me and my person – if they are there – will exchange love letters and crush notes till death do us part).
What stuck out was how little we did of it. In the conversation, one of us dared to say that we have grown up with phones and digital communication, there is not so much of letter writing to do.
I’m sure the story varies for different people because I did my fair share of writing letters. I enjoyed writing them and receiving them. They felt more personal somehow, and I would go into detail over minor events like what one teacher did or which impression a certain scene in a movie left. The contents of letters are fascinating! What do you include – what do you leave out. Not to mention the wait. But I think that always gave me something to look forward to.
Just this year, I have two novels written in epistolary form, ‘When You Read This’ by Mary Adkins and ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’ by Mary Ann Shaffer. I recommend both if you are looking, but mostly the latter. It got me thinking of writing in that format and I gave it a shot on my Reedsy account – clearly needs some work but it’s fun. To write something as you imagine the response line for line. Like I’m writing this, because you usually know the recipient, and she’ll laugh or he’ll get this inside reference.
There has also been this burst of writing ‘Letters to self’. Letters to either your future self or past self. I’m certainly among that number and I write to whichever me😏 I feel like writing too. I made it a point to write letters to myself as often as possible this year. If it’s to myself, how different is that from journaling? Good question. Very good question.
I’ve read a few ‘Letters’ written on various blogs. Some are titled ‘Letters to my future husband’ or ‘Letters to an estranged friend’. Clearly letter-writing is not a lost art. And I like how they flow. Even though they may be read by everyone else, they are written with a particular recipient in mind. I guess that frees people up to be honest and it is nice to watch. When I read the ones on Friendship, I thought they gave good closure and I find myself time to time thinking of writing one. ‘To all the friends I lost’ – title has surely been overly used but I still works.
A little side story – While I was in primary, my school tried out a penpal campaign. I can’t tell you how far it went, because I don’t really remember. But I think now that I am older and can appreciate the time and intention and effort usually put into a letter, I would treasure that more.
And now over to you dear reader – do you enjoy letters? Do you write letters? What do you include? Please let me know in the comments if you don’t mind.