It is unarguably much faster, cheaper, and more efficient to send an email or text whenever you think of someone. BUT there are definite benefits to sitting down and writing a note to your friends, relatives and significant others. Therefore, I’ve decided to challenge myself to write one letter a week for a year. The idea is that each week I’ll surprise a different person with a handwritten note in the mail. I’m calling it my #52weekletterwritingchallenge. AND I think you should give it a try too!
In hopes of convincing you to join in my challenge, I’m listing 7 benefits of handwritten letters:
1. Handwritten Notes Provide Something To Hold On To
How many people print out their emails or text messages and save them in a box under their bed? If you know someone that does that, give them props. The truth is, most of us don’t…no matter how sweet the email or text message may be. In contrast, people enjoy holding onto a card or note from someone they care about. They’ll stick them on the fridge, on a desk, on a bulletin board, in a drawer…they’ll KEEP their little momento! My grandmother (who is in her late 80s) has a box of love letters from my grandfather. Although he passed away a few years ago, she pulls one note out every day and reads his hand-written note. How sweet is that? 🙂 Yep, people enjoy having something to hold on to!
2. Handwritten Notes Take Time
We put time into the things we care about. So yes, that hand-written note is going to take you more time than than an email or text. BUT it will mean more to the recipient that you took the time out of your hectic schedule to write down your thoughts to them! It is almost like a mini-gift that you handmade! Take the time. Write a note. Show them you care!
3. Handwritten Notes Require Intentionality
Sending a note requires being intentional. I will need to find a card (possibly one from the Texture Design Co Etsy shop), and I will need to buy a stamp. I need to make sure I have their address and get the card in the mail. All of that takes some thought and requires being purposeful in the task. But again, that intentionality shines through and means a lot when you’re on the receiving end! “Oh man, this person thought enough to buy a card for me and get it in the mail!” That may sound exaggerated, but it’s really what is going on in our mind when we receive a handwritten note in the mail.
4. Handwritten Notes Come as a Surprise
Unless you tell the person you’re mailing them a note, most people are not expecting to find a card from you. So what better way to surprise someone than to send a little happiness and encouragement to their mailbox! You can ask my husband; I LOVE checking the mail. You never know when there will be a surprise note from someone! It just brightens the day.
5. Handwritten Notes are Romantic
I already shared with you about my grandmother reading her love letters from my grandfather. At the time, they were dating, he was away at war, and she was back at home. DOES IT GET ANY MORE ROMANTIC THAN THAT? But you don’t have to be separated by hundreds of miles for the letters to be romantic. I’m not the super mushy type; I usually cringe when I find something too romantic. However, I just melt when Martin leaves a surprise card on my car window. I love reading his hand writing and then re-reading it. And probably reading it one more time to make sure I got everything. So even if you’re not a “romantic” person, there is definitely something special about receiving a note from your spouse or boo.
6. Handwritten Notes Require You to Slow Down
Sometimes we just need to take a break. Get off the computer and off of the phone. Grab a coffee or tea and get cozy to write your note. Maybe even go sit outside and gather your thoughts as you write your note. It is healthy to slow down sometimes. So why not take that breather AND do something nice for someone else.
7. Handwritten Notes Provide Encouragement
When people write you a note, it automatically lets you know that you are important to them (for all the reasons listed above). Furthermore, hand-written notes rarely just say how the weather is and what someone is up to. Usually we spell out why we appreciate someone and what they mean to us. It is so encouraging to read those meaningful words from someone! While you are jotting down your note, it will also remind you of the many reasons you are thankful for the person you’re writing to. So you’re encouraging the recipient and filling your heart with gratitude.
Oh, And Handwritten Notes Are Just More Fun!
So will you join me in my #52weekletterwritingchallenge?!
Be sure to follow along on Instagram as well! Use the hashtag above and snap a photo of your fun cards or decorated envelopes! I’ll share more ideas as I go along, but please share yours as well!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Emily Kirby was born into a family of artists in Zambia in the early eighties. Although young when she moved to the UK these roots have always had a deep impact on her painting. Emily now regularly returns to travel, paint and exhibit in Africa.
The majority of Kirby’s work draws on the study of people and wildlife, using the figure as the central object for interpretation. In the past Emily was interested in tribal identities but more recently she has become primarily concerned with exploring methods of painting that allow her to communicate raw emotion, movement and expression. Bold brush work and a loose expressive technique have become a defining quality in Kirby’s work, with a continued investigation into colour and form laying at the heart of her practice.
Emily has exhibited internationally and in 2012 was awarded The Chairmans Ngoma Award for Visual Artist in the Diaspora. Emily has recently moved to Madrid after living in East London for the past six years.