Is Letter Writing Dead?

Is Letter Writing Dead?

Elizabeth Giorgi
Nov 18, 2013

I can't remember the last time I received a handwritten note in the mail. "Thank you" notes have made way for "thank you" emails, invitations have been replaced with Facebook events, and even love letters have been usurped by cute emoji-filled texts. But I'm not ready to proclaim letter writing dead...

Writing someone a letter is a deeply personal task. It says a lot, beyond just the words scribed on the page. To me, it says:

"You are worth the extra time it took me to write this."

"I wanted you to have a moment away from the computer to open this special note and connect with you."

"I spent some time and money to send you this note."

The New York Times is running a series of essays called Draft by a litany of talented historians, journalists, novelists, and artists. The basic premise?

"...From the comma to the tweet to the novel ... a well-crafted sentence matters more than ever in the digital age."

Inspired by the NY Times series, I wanted to change up my habits and start sending more notes. Here are three things I did that may help you:

(Image credit: Mara-Mi)

1. Buy cute stationery you really like. And don't go cheap. Make it a treasure hunt to find something you truly love and feel excited to send.

2. Add a post-it note onto the computer that reads: "Thank yous via email don't count." If I really want to thank someone for something, I grab a thank you card and take the time to handwrite a heartfelt letter.

3. Update your calendars to reflect special occasions beyond birthdays. Sometimes all it takes is a little reminder to do something nice. I recently added my best friends' anniversaries and my mom's cancer free anniversary to my Google Calendar, and now I get a helpful reminder email to send a nice (physical) note to mark the occassion.

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