Do You Write Letters?

by Pink Sherbet Photography

On my way to the office this afternoon I was listening to an NPR interview with Samara O’Shea, author of For The Love of Letters and the website Letter Lover. She was bemoaning the demise of traditional letter writing and speaking of the joy she finds in the simple act of touching pen to paper.

I feel the same way sometimes. I often find that when I’m working on more creative writing pursuits (I like to write short fiction) I need the actual feeling of writing by hand to get my ideas flowing. The blank computer screen and blinking cursor are oftentimes more daunting than an empty sheet of paper.

But despite my love for scribbling stories by hand, I don’t really write letters at all, at least not in any traditional sense. I guess I’m a bit of a letter writer 2.0 in that I prefer emailing to pretty much any other form of non-face-to-face communication. I really dislike talking on the phone and would rather stay in touch with friends and family through email. I think better when writing. Whenever I’m on the phone, I feel like I should be doing something else at the same time. An hour spent talking on the phone, even when it is with a friend that I haven’t talked to in a while and even when the conversation is really enjoyable, just feels like an hour’s worth of time that should have been spent getting something else done. I can unload the dishwasher or cook dinner or take the dog for a walk all while talking on the phone, and I do, but all of those things also distract me a bit from the conversation so I end up feeling dissatisfied either way. When I’m sending an email, though, I feel like I’m connecting to what I am doing and putting real thought and energy into the act of communicating with my friends and loved ones. I really prefer it that way. Maybe I’m just weird.

How do you prefer to get in touch with friends? Do you ever find yourself sending handwritten letters?



  1. twentyoneport said,

    March 18 2010 at 9:42 pm

    Oh my gosh, I was just thinking of this the other day! I prefer email too – you’re not weird! Or maybe, i’m just as weird? 😛 I do think email is to blame for the deterioration of good penmanship, though…

    I miss getting handwritten letters in the mail. The only time it happens anymore is with thank you notes, which I don’t really count. I remember having a ‘penpal’ from Wisconsin when I was in elementary or middle school…the anticipation of getting the letter in the mail after I had sent mine to her a week before was so invigorating, not to mention reading what was going on in her life through her actual handwriting!

  2. May 13 2010 at 5:50 pm

    I love all forms of technology email, blogging, cell phone, and skype; but I adore letter writing. I’ve not actively written letters for 20 years, but this year decided to write a letter every day in 2010. My love for letter writing has returned, found an outlet; and I think I’ll be writing letters now for the rest of my life.

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