The Lost Art of Letter Writing

I read a blog post yesterday about handwriting. It lead me on to think about how many letters I had hand written recently, and the answer is: not many.

I wrote to my youngest sister last year, as she had been having some issues, I chose pink ink (yes, really) and got carried away with big sisterly support. She emailed me to thank me for it, and said how nice it was to receive a letter. I didn’t get one back.

I worry about the skill of handwriting. It concerns me that we may lose it, and that in the future we may be back in the past once more where people made a living by handwriting letters for people who couldn’t write. It is a skill, and one we should be encouraging our children to use.

By coincidence, our local radio station last night was having a phone in on things you would like to learn, calligraphy and illuminated script came up. I recall that I learned calligraphy at school, in an art class. I don’t recall being taught penmanship, but I must have been, because we weren’t allowed to use ink pens unless our handwriting was good enough, and it was a rite of passage almost to be told you could now write in ink.  Remember the phrase – use your best handwriting? I twonder if children in school are now told – use your best typing?

I have several ink pens, and I love to use them. I just don’t have to many occasions to use them. So my resolve is to start to letter write once more. I know that stamps cost a lot of money, but surely it is worth it for the joy it may bring?

I am going to try and write a letter a week, have I got that many people to write to? What do I say? Apart from the weather and what is happening at home (not a lot) I have nothing to say. Maybe I will try one a month instead.


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