Writing: A Thing of the Past

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Writing: A Thing of the Past

I’ve Got My Pen And My Stationery. I’m Good To Go!

Most everyone wants to be connected to others. Whether it’s with family, friends, schoolmates or colleagues, everyone wants to be connected to someone. For some, the smaller that group the greater their comfort zone. For others, being connected to the masses is where their interaction needs are met. One of the world’s oldest methods of connectivity, written communication, is on the decline. Few people write personal letters any more. Fewer still know how to compose a letter.

Writing letters has meditative qualities, nostalgic elements and emotive properties. Rather than joining in with the canned laughter for a giggle during your favorite show or becoming distraught while watching the drama on your favorite soap opera, take a moment to feel and express your thoughts to someone. This is an opportunity to share with someone who is part of your life but cannot be there for the moment. Reach out and touch someone the good old fashioned way.

Letters Can Change The Course Of History

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Is The Practice of Writing Letters Dead Already Or Just On The Way Out?

Birth announcements, thank you notes, party invites and other similar correspondence are the cupcake version of the three layer cake that is letter writing. When you want to give someone a memory bite of your life, write them a letter. I regret that today in the stationery section of most stores you find an attractive array of blank note cards and thank you notes, but none of the pretty stationery with lacy and floral accents and color-coordinated envelopes. I used to keep a healthy supply on hand of pretty stationery many years ago. I shopped for it the way Imelda Marcos collected shoes.

Yeh, so I’m a dinosaur, right? After all, who takes the time anymore to write letters, not counting those in the over fifty crowd, that is? It’s much quicker to shoot off email, tap in a text message or tweet. Instant gratification is what it’s all about these days, right? As long as you and I keep the art form alive, then it won’t die out. So I guess we should get busy as a team – team proselytize. Nothing short of an active campaign to convert people into letter writers will turn the situation around.

As children, my mother used to insist we sit down and write thank-yous and short letters to relatives and family friends. The family that writes together stays together? In my waking dreams, I can see letter writing groups cropping up all over the country as an alternative to readers- and writers groups.  

Great Articles On The Decline of Letter Writing


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One Reason to Pick Up Letter Writing: It Can Change Your Life.

A Simple Act of Gratitude: How Learning to Say Thank You Changed My Life, by John Kralik.

The author of this book found himself at an all-time low in his life – both professionally and personally. He pulled himself out of that rut by embarking on a letter-writing campaign.

Many thank-you letters later, he found his life had turned around and things were continuing to trend upward in his life. This is a good book to pick up for an inspirational lift.  

Homesteading A Table At the Local Cafe


Are you a one-lump kinda person or a two-lumper? Is it the cream that makes the morning cuppa for you? At home, two-percent milk and raw sugar are my coffee additive of choice, but when I step out on the home brew, it’s whatever-strikes-my-fancy time.

While Ol’ Jo is setting the scene at the coffee shoppe, I’ve scoped out that table in the corner as far away from the beaten track as I can get. This because I’m there to spend some quality time with pen and paper. Or, with the mobile writing desk on other occasions. When I’m sitting at the coffee house, it’s usually with the intent to get a few hundred more words keyed into something I’m writing or fleshing out an idea for a new project. Another thing I reserve for java-time-out is writing letters to friends and those close to me. Yes, I’m talkin’ ye olde snail mail with a snippet or two of what’s new with me.

Okay, so I’m not big on sitting on the phone for chat time. I really get into taking personal time to sit in sacred space and share a slice of my world with friends and family. In spite of a full daily routine, time to write letters, short stories and books is at the top of my priority list. Well, after the real life necessity for a day job, that is.

But we’re all busy, aren’t we?

To me, time constraints are the primary reason for the decline in writing letters. Texting, emailing and tweets make it easier to connect with friends and family though virtual and temporary and brief. With all the spam, bills and other minutiae which arrives in the daily mail, those letters which invite the reader to experience a moment shared with someone close are to be treasured. Unlike with tweeting, emailing and text messaging, I can sit with a cup of coffee and read or reread a letter and relish its feel in my hands, its smell and the stationery on which it was written. Though not the same as a visit, I can be there for a time with the sender.



Tanya lives in Texas. Home is California. Though her day job takes up much of her free time, she still finds time to dabble with writing. She has written on a few user generated content sites under the pseudonym, Arachnea. Tanya’s other writing can be found on her website, Arachnea’s Corner of the World. She’s an avid supporter of the local symphony and arts community. She also enjoys the occasional meet-up with friends. Originally from California, she takes life as it comes in her temporary sojourn.

Author: Jackie Jackson

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  1. This is a beautiful description of my first fifty years or so before the internet took over my life. I think my letter writing stopped about the time I signed up for Squidoo. Instead of writing a long letter only one person would read, I made a lens about what was on my mind. My business also kept me busy, and then the other writing sites came along to take even more time. I still have one friend who will not do email. If I write to her or anyone else, though, I still have to do it by computer. My handwriting has deteriorated and arthritis makes writing by hand much harder. i just shared this on Twitter and will probably share on tsu as well, and that will crosspost to Facebook if I remember to click the right button when I post.

    • Thanks for stopping in and commenting, Barbara. I’ve been fighting really hard to not let technology rob me of writing letters. Thank you for the shares.

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