The lost art of letter writing

Posted: 9 January, 2012 in writing
Tags: ,

Apparently, only five percent of all mail sent in the past year was social mail. As someone who was once an avid letter writer, this is a sad statistic for me.

Further, it’s estimated that this number will go down rather than up as the popularity and accessibility of the internet and email continue to grow. The majority of mail received through the post now consists of bills, catalogues, mail order items, Christmas cards, wedding invitations and magazine subscriptions.

I remember writing letters when I was young and being so excited when a reply arrived. I’ve kept most of the letters I’ve received over the years because I see them as documented conversations I’ve had with my grandmother and friends since I was nine years old. Every couple of years (when I decide to clean out my office) I come across the box of letters and I re-read them, and I am as happy as the day I first received them in the mail.

A couple of years ago a friend of mine was imprisoned and my passion for letter writing was reignited.  It was great to write a letter, send it off and get a reply a few weeks later.  What made it especially nice was that we hadn’t spoken much at all when he lived 10kms away from me but we have gotten closer over the years because of our regular letters.

Letter writing has always been a popular pastime of writers.  I have an entire shelf of books of the collected letters of writers. These letters tell more about the life of their authors than any biography – their style of their writing, who they wrote to, how often, what was going on in the world at the time, and details of their family and personal life – details that would not otherwise be known if it hadn’t been noted in a letter.

So, I’m bringing back the declining art of letter writing. My first letter will be to my grandmother, who introduced me to letter writing over 30 years ago. It will be great to get this communication going with her again.

Now, does anyone know how much a stamp costs these days?

P.S. If anyone has the letter-writing bug and wants to write but has no-one to write to, my postal address is PO Box 4237, Lake Wyangan, NSW, 2680, Australia. Feel free to drop me a line!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s