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{23/01/2013}   A year of writing letters

For the month of February 2012 I adopted a suggestion by a friend who had read a blog about a-letter-for-every-posting-day-in-February.  I did it, though not posting a letter every day, rather writing the correct number of letters for that month within that month.  I have always written letters to a few friends, though they would usually take about a month to write.  For that month last year, on the whole I thoroughly enjoyed writing to friends.  A lot of people had never had a letter from me before and most people weren’t expecting one.  To my surprise, knowing what I’m like, I continued writing a fair few letters throughout 2012, some being replies to a letter chain that started with my February month of letter writing.  I am now preparing myself for another month of it in February.

I know I have written about letters before but letter writing is something that I love doing.  I really do feel that time writing to a particular friend is the next best thing to time spent with that person as you tend to be slightly more diary-like in letters than in, say, phone calls, emails or texts.  There is then the double joy if you get a reply.  Last year, I wrote to some friends I’ve never written to before, and would otherwise have seen no reason to write to.  Some of those people surprised me by replying.  I genuinely believe I discovered a few new things about those friends.  For example, one friend wrote back and I realised I had never seen their handwriting before, except on a Christmas or Birthday card.  I then had a whole letter from them.  Two people in particular were way, way more witty than I could have imagined possible!  I mean, both are fun people to spend time with but their way of writing was genuinely funny and I loved their letters.  Well, I love letters whatever, but you get a real sense of the person’s voice and them being really truly themselves.  Emails may be written but they are often abbreviated, often rushed.  Letters, however, require more time.  I also love that people, me included, usually explain where they are when they are writing and give observations of people around them.  These are perspectives you wouldn’t probably get in other forms of communication and they are such wonderful insights into people.

I am glad that I have written more letters than I usually would as a result of my month of letter writing and I am glad that that has happened naturally, ie because I want to and because I enjoy it.  I also love, love, love getting (usually) texts from people after they’ve received an unexpected letter saying how nice it was to have received your letter.  It’s lovely.  And, of course, it’s lovely when you get home and discover a hand written letter (typed is of course ok too, but the envelopes are pretty much always hand written so you know to get a mug of tea to hand and time to sit on your favourite chair to read the letter, with plenty of time to savour the words).

Mind you, I write most letters on the train and for the next two weeks I won’t be commuting any significant distance.  I do, however, have my writing paper and address book with me so I’ll see if I manage to write a letter not from the train!

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