This is the week to get serious about letter writing. I challenge you to write a letter and change your life for the better! Who’s joining me for #NatStatWeek?
Snail mail will change your life.
Here are four ways:
1 – Snail mail is an exercise in delayed gratification.
This world of instant everything puts us at risk of becoming a species of impatient, twitching fiends. We demand fast food, speedy cash, urgent replies, slick design, instant noodles and pre-cooked rice, quick debt, rapid fire, lightning chargers, minute millionaires, immediate pay-off … Gasp.
Snail mail forces us to slow down. It takes thirty minutes to compose a letter. We send it with an expectation of a reply, for which we must wait. The pay-off comes a week or so later, a paper bundle of warm-fuzzies and wit.
And even then, letter in hand, I like to draw out the pleasure. I don’t rip it open at the mailbox and gulp it down without chewing on my way back to the front door. No, I make a pot of tea and let the anticipation build. I savour the words between sips of hot tea. It’s sublime.
Snail mail is refreshingly slow and stodgy in this hectic, fast-lane world.
2 – Letter writing involves stationery.
And stationery is one of life’s greatest delights. Seriously, what could be so satisfying as finding paper that conveys your mood and personality? There is a unique joy in finding a pen that fits your hand, or a pencil whose lead complements your handwriting, or accessories that lift your spirits, or paper that’s a pleasure to write on.
Stationery is tactile. It’s aesthetic. It’s mood-enhancing. It’s simple: No recharging, no feeding, no associated bills from the vet or physio or rehab clinic … And using it, particularly letter paper, blesses others.
Stationery is an economical indulgence. Trust me: collecting stationery is far cheaper than hoarding shoes, bikes, surfboards, or tattoos.
3 – Writing by hand is good for the soul.
Handwriting invites reflection and induces tranquility. It is far more ‘emptying’ than typing, possibly because it uses a different part of the brain, or maybe because it’s magical. Who knows why, but writing by hand is both calming and cathartic.
There’s an intimacy in the act of writing letters by hand. A part of yourself is revealed through your handwriting, your composition, your quirky inserts (an autumn leaf, a coaster from a bar, a tea bag), your choice of paper and the colour of your ink. You bare a sliver of your soul. It’s good for you, and it beautifies the world.
4 – Letter writing brings balance to your mailbox.
Remember the good ol’ days, when the words ‘You’ve got mail’ made you excited? Nowadays, there’s stress associated with inboxes. Mailboxes can be stressful, too: Finding nothing but a fat stack of bills brings on a heart-sinking feeling.
But one handwritten letter from a friend can balance out the burden of all those bills. Think of it this way: Your handwritten letter is an act of kindness and service to your loved ones. Your cheery note takes the sting out of their power bill.
See? I told you. Snail mail will change your life. Embracing it might even make the world a better place.
So, now are you joining me for National Stationery Week? Pledge a handwritten letter to someone in the comments!