Power of the {Handwritten} Word

You know what I love?

Well, there’s a whole laundry list of things…oddly enough, laundry isn’t on the list of things I love. Hm.

One thing that is on that list is a thoughtful, handwritten letter.

This one from my lovely friend Jessie

This one from my lovely friend Jessie

As a person who loves words and the meanings behind them, I feel especially loved when I get a letter in the mail. It far outweighs an email or Tweet or posting on Facebook.

This from my pen-pal Patti

This from my pen-pal Patti

A handwritten letter or note means that someone is willing to give a little of their time to swirl the letters on the page. They are making themselves a little more vulnerable than they do when typing. After awhile, the reader becomes familiar with the penmanship, knowing who wrote it without having to see the signature.

It’s an art that has long been neglected. It’s something I am working and resolving to bring back into my life.

I write a note for my daughter's lunch box every day. Sometimes I get a little silly. We're grammar nerds.

I write a note for my daughter’s lunch box every day. Sometimes I get a little silly. We’re grammar nerds.

Last night, my friend Kristy sent me a message. She told me that she was rereading a book she had in high school…almost 20 years ago (ouch….ouch…ouch). Between the pages she found a note from me…

Kristy, Where are you? My life is not worth living w/out you!
Come back soon because otherwise I will go even CRAZIER! I love you a lot, Sooze”
 

Neither of us can remember where Kristy went or how I got the note into her book (although, we didn’t have locks on our lockers…would that make them no-lock-ers?). However, we both got a smile out of her finding the note now. Years later. With many movies and career changes and life events.

19 years after I wrote that note, it still had power. Not because I wrote it. But because it captured our friendship, the love we still have for one another. We have history. I’ve known Kristy since 1st grade. The grade my daughter is in now (oh, wow…). If I could, I would thank 17 year old Susie for writing that note to Kristy. It reminded 36 year old Susie that she has a few letters to write today.

How about you? Do you handwrite letters? Who do you write to? Is there someone who might appreciate a letter from you? It’s so worth it!

ALSO, there are several beautiful books written in letter form or with snippets of letters within the chapters. One is Goodness & Mercy by Patti Hill. It is one of my favorite novels and is only $2.99 for Kindle and less than $12 for an honest to goodness paperback. Do yourself a solid and buy that book. 

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11 thoughts on “Power of the {Handwritten} Word

  1. I wrote in a journal everyday for the first year of my kids’ lives. Did it for my daughters and now am doing it now for my son who is nearly 9 months old. I write everyday before I sleep, reflecting on their day. I hope that they see how much I love them through it, not just my terrible handwriting! I also love getting/sending hand written notes!

  2. The written word is a lost art which I wish we were not losing! I agree with you. My mom’s diaries, which she kept for over thirty years, every single day…are such a treasure to us now. She didn’t share many feelings, mostly factual, but you can read between the lines. Since she passed away when I was so young, it is like opening up a special box, to see her writing, and try to invent all the scenes in my mind. Add in my much older siblings comments. It’s special. It is much of the kind of thing I want to write about to include her writings. There are also many letters to her in our possession. Thanks for the reminder. All these texts, facebook posts, etc., are just going to be gone! It’s not something we will be able to touch and hold and pass on to the future generations. Kind of sad.

    • I’m so glad you have all of those journals from your mom. What a great link to her! I think there is something powerful about touching paper that someone else took time to fill with words. It’s beautiful.

      • Oooo….Susie, I just wrote about the way my mom’s hand slid across the page, and then I read this. I was trying to figure out how to do “tags” for the first time, so I could lead people to your blog. I’m trying. We’ll see if it works!

  3. I love getting handwritten letters! I have a dear friend in Alaska who I write with. Getting a letter and creating one for her are two wonderful things I really enjoy. There’s nothing like it, i tell you!
    My love-language is time spent. When I get a letter, of course the words are touching, but what is the most touching thing for me is that someone took the time to think up the words and pen them down to send to me. Getting a letter from a friend is one of the best things in the world, I’m pretty sure.

    • I’ll say this, getting a letter in the mail makes me happy cry. Seriously. I love it that much. I understand the time spent love language. That’s one of mine. Chocolate is the other. Oh. And coffee. :)

  4. Oh the handwritten note … Susie that is my love language. Unfortunately, I am rarely on the receiving end.
    I still write letters from time to time to a college friend. She reminds me every now and again how she misses the years immediately after college when I wrote regularly.
    Mostly, I send note cards and thank you notes but recently have been toying with the idea of handwritten letters as a form of personal history. We will she where that leads me.
    ~Gail

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