Pen to paper – a forgotten art

Do you remember the last time you wrote someone a letter? You know, an old-fashioned, stamp-on-an-envelope letter.

Since moving interstate six months ago, I have rediscovered the joy of sending and receiving personal, hand-written correspondence – particularly through my children.

There’s something a bit special about putting pen to paper, overseeing a crayon scribble or posting a hand drawn map of the solar system, as my son crafted for his grandad last week.

In fact I’ve now set in place a week-about correspondence with both sets of interstate grandparents – and friends, too. Now there is a flurry of drawings, newspaper clippings and day-to-day stories heading back and forth – and for my three-year-old, choosing the stamp for the envelope is half the fun! It’s personal and it takes a bit more effort, but it’s also a tangible connection and another topic of conversation during Skype chats.

This week, while trawling through my ‘family tree’ project (I will get back to it one day, I keep promising myself) I found a beautiful letter written by my grandfather, a self-taught calligrapher. I was struck by the very formal language and ‘old school’ sentiment, even though it was written in 1976. It was another reminder to me that writing by hand is a lost form of communication – and I think it’s very sad.

During August, why not choose a friend or relative and actually write them a letter? You might be surprised at how delighted they are to receive something personal in their letterbox – not a bill or another piece of election propaganda. Let me know how you go in the comments below!

4 Responses to Pen to paper – a forgotten art

  1. Jodie August 11, 2013 at 1:33 am #

    Yes I agree with each and every sentiment. We have become the family of Thank You Notes. Sent regularly by each of us to friends and family for their kind gestures and thoughtfulness. There is little written language at school from year 7… It would be dreadful to see our children fall behind with their writing skills..even spelling by not writing. So go on..pen to is really self satisfying!! Jxxx

    • literacylover August 12, 2013 at 12:02 am #

      As the recipient of one of your lovely thank you notes, i can report that it made me feel very special – and it only takes a bit of extra effort. Thank you for your comment Jodie!

  2. klingnercommunications August 11, 2013 at 11:53 pm #

    This is a poignant reminder of how close we are to losing the art of writing for the sheer joy of it. As a doting Nanna to three grandchildren who live interstate, receiving beautiful handcrafted cards and drawings in the mail brightens the most tedious of days. Equally, I know they love to receive cards and stickers addressed to them to mark important milestones and achievements. Just a few words shared the old fashioned way can make a world of difference to someone you care about. Sheryl

    • literacylover August 12, 2013 at 12:01 am #

      Thank you for your words Sheryl…. my sentiments exactly.