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The Lost Art of Handwritten Letters

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Yes, yes, I know. Email is better, and faster, and more convenient. Handwriting letters is so last century.

Yes, maybe. But I think it is still worthwhile. For one thing, it helps with your penmanship. I know my handwriting has gone to pot over the years. You can barely read my script. Doctors would have problems reading my script. And my printing is going downhill too.

Another benefit of handwriting a letter is that your brain engages with a different, deeper part of your mind than it does when typing something on a keyboard. Perhaps it is because you need to stop and think more before writing something down. Electronic media lets you correct your mistakes, maybe a little too easily, so you just throw words on the screen without much forethought. Then you go back later and edit them, although I suspect most folks just correct the typos that get underlined in their word processing program.

Your mind engages with printed material differently than things written on a screen. Reading printed material activates different areas of your brain leading to better retention and understanding of the material.

If you need more practice writing letters, pick a kid in your life and write letters to them, the younger the kid the better. Grandkids, nieces, nephews, all worthy candidates. Or your own kids if they are young. Kids love getting stuff in the mail. We’ve skipped an entire generation of kids that missed the joys of getting mail sent to them. They never got to experience finding a letter with their name on it in the daily stack of mail, then eagerly ripping the envelope open to find out what was inside.

You can spice up the letter by using different colored pens, or interspersing doodles among the paragraphs. This will help your kid get more interested in reading your future letters.

Give it a try. I think you, and the kids you write to, will find it a rewarding experience.

If you’d like to support my efforts, why not buy me a chocolate chip cookie through my Ko-Fi page?


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