Handwritten Correspondence: Where Have You Gone?

Pen is courtesy of RECTurnings: http://www.recturnings.etsy.com

We live in a tech savvy culture. We live in a tech dependent world.

I, for one, miss the personal touch of a handwritten note. I miss getting “real” mail like letters, cards, or invitations in the distinctive hand of the sender.

Don’t you wish that when you opened your mailbox that you were buried under an avalanche of personalized handwritten correspondence? Instead we are buried under an avalanche that consists of coupons, bills, advertisements, and solicitations.

Credit card companies have gotten wise to the fact that people want mail that contains even the faintest whisper of personal connection. The most recent “please get our credit card” solicitation I received, looked like a wedding or baby shower invitation; which is the only reason I opened it rather than immediately shredding it.

Right after college I spent a lot of time sending cards and notes to my friends. Back then it was cheaper to put a stamp on an envelope than to call. At least once a week one of my closest friends received a handwritten note from me.

Taking great care in picking the right card or stationery. Writing an outline of the stuff I wanted to share. Why? I don’t know. Selecting the perfect pen based on color, point, type, etc. Print or cursive or a combination.

I loved it. Sitting at my writing desk and spreading everything out. Each letter had to be unique based on the person who would receive it.

My life wasn’t exciting and there wasn’t much to tell but I put a lot of effort into telling the story in the most interesting way. I wrote about work stuff, family things, books and movies. Nothing Earth shattering. I was too busy writing about life to live it.

And if I missed a week, I would get a complimentary phone call stating, “I didn’t get my letter this week. Where is it?”

As a matter of fact I saw one of these friends recently and she said, “I remember when you used to send me letters.”

Keep in mind I didn’t get much handwritten correspondence in return. Sometimes it was okay but sometimes I wanted reciprocity. More than anything though, I was glad that I afforded some of my friends with a moment of joy.

Then life got busy to the point where I had to live it and my letter writing slowed.

Enter the age of “cheap” long distance. I remember getting offers to change services, from 7 cents to 5 cents to 3 cents. It became cheaper to call. One commercial advertised a woman talking about calling her sister to “talk about nothing for hours” because it was so cheap. That’s what my sisters and I did. We’d sit on the phone and watch TV together like we were in the same room.

Following the cheap long distance age came the Hotmail age (dial up and slow connections but quicker than sending a letter by post). Email made correspondence easier and quicker. Then came the cell phone in every hand and texting. Now we live in the age of the SmartPhone with Facetime & Skype as options.

I miss the personal notes, so I started letter writing again. A few years ago in an intentional personal campaign I decided to bring back handwritten correspondence. Trust me when I say the comeback is a slow burn. But I am committed to it.

Imagine my excitement then when PaperMate®   introduced a new pen line called InkJoy™. Part of their mission:  ‘But most of all, we wanted to bring back the joy to writing …” Awesome, right? It’s aligned with one of my personal causes. I still need to decide if the pens bring me as much joy as their mission statement.

Anyway, I’m back at it. Writing letters. Personalizing each note to each person. Buying stationery and note cards that make me smile knowing the person on the receiving end will smile too. Paying the price of stamps and hopefully adding a special life moment for the recipient.

When was the last time someone sent you a personal handwritten note? It’s been too long. When was the last time you sent one? Also, too long.

Join the mission today … I am calling you to arms or rather to hands … sit down and pen a thank you or thinking of you or miss you note. Choose someone you rarely see or talk to. Choose someone you see every day. Put an “I LOVE YOU” in that special someone’s computer bag or handbag or backpack.

I dare you to make someone’s day by contributing to an avalanche of handwritten correspondence. Maybe you’ll be buried under an avalanche too!