Why Handwritten Letters Absolutely Deserve a Comeback and How To Add Them to Your Life

Do you remember when going to the mailbox was exciting? When you would scurry down and look for a letter mixed in with the bills? I do, but it’s been a very long time.

It’s easy to be nostalgic for the good old days and complain about smartphones and short attention spans. It’s harder to do something about it and be different than the world you’re complaining about.

Now more than ever, handwritten letters feel charming and innocent. Here’s why you should give them a try and how to make it a habit.

A watercolor illustration of a vintage writer's desk, cluttered with letters, stamps, a quill, inkwell, and other writing paraphernalia, bathed in warm sunlight filtering through a window.

Key Takeaways

  • How to rediscover the lost art of writing letters by hand.
  • Handwritten letters seem like little things that are very big.

Embrace Nostalgia and Challenge the Status Quo

  • The Antidote to Digital Overload. In a world of constant notifications and digital demands, the act of writing a letter forces us to slow down, focus our thoughts, and connect with another person on a deeper level.
  • Gentle Rebellion. Choosing to handwrite a letter is a quiet act of defiance against the instant gratification of digital communication. It’s a way to reclaim time, personal expression, and a sense of individuality.
  • Rediscovering a Forgotten Ritual. Letter writing carries with it a beautiful sense of ritual – selecting stationery, composing thoughts, and the physical act of handwriting. 

When you sit down to write a letter, you’re forced to slow down and be present in the moment. You can’t rush through the process like you can with an email or text message. Instead, you have to take your time, choosing each word carefully and focusing on the physical act of writing.

Why a Letter Makes Someone’s Day (Now More Than Ever)

There’s something magical about opening your mailbox and finding a handwritten letter nestled among the bills and junk mail. It’s a feeling of surprise and delight, a reminder that someone has taken the time to think of you and reach out in a personal way.

A warm and cozy watercolor scene of an elderly woman reading at a sunlit table by a window, with flowers and kitchenware on shelves in the background, conveying a sense of serenity.

The effort and time it takes to write a letter by hand speaks volumes about how much you value the person you’re writing to. It shows that you’re willing to invest your time and energy into the relationship and that you care enough to create something unique and personal for them.

  • A Letter’s Unique Charm. Your handwriting, the texture of the paper, and even small imperfections convey a warmth and sincerity that texts and emails cannot replicate.
  • Beyond the Screen. Letters offer space for deeper vulnerability than rushed digital exchanges. They encourage us to share our thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a more meaningful way.
  • The Gift of Presence. Dedicating time and effort to a handwritten letter demonstrates a level of care and attention that is rare in our fast-paced, impersonal world. It shows the recipient that you value them enough to truly be present in your communication. The fact that it’s so rare and so much more difficult to do makes it even more special.

We’re so accustomed to the instant gratification of emails and text messages that we’ve forgotten the joy and anticipation that comes with receiving a handwritten letter in the mail. When I receive a handwritten letter, I feel that same sense of nostalgia and charm. I imagine the person sitting down at their desk, selecting the perfect stationery and pen, and taking the time to craft a message just for me.

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A Letter is Something That Lasts

One of the most beautiful things about handwritten letters is their tangible nature. Unlike digital messages that exist only in the ether, letters are physical objects that we can hold in our hands, touch, and even smell.

  • Tangible Beauty. A handwritten letter is a work of art. From the choice of stationery to the flow of your script, it has a visual appeal and uniqueness that digital communication can’t match.
  • A Treasure to Hold. Unlike emails that exist in the ether, a letter is a physical object you can hold, reread, and cherish. The feel of the paper in your hands creates a powerful connection.
  • Permanence and Legacy. Letters outlast the fleeting nature of digital messages. They can be saved, passed down through generations, and become a tangible piece of history and personal connection.

They become keepsakes in a way that’s completely impossible for a digital message.

How to Start Writing Letters (Not Just Read About It!)

If you’re new to letter writing, the most important thing is to start simple and stay authentic. Don’t worry too much about crafting the perfect turn of phrase or using fancy language. Just write from the heart and let your personality shine through.

  • Embrace Simplicity: You don’t need fancy stationery or perfect penmanship. A heartfelt message on any kind of paper is a wonderful start.
  • Your List Awaits: Think about the people in your life who would appreciate a handwritten note— a friend, a grandparent, an old teacher.
  • Prep Your Toolkit: Keep a small stash of essentials on hand – notecards or paper, envelopes, a few stamps, and your favorite pen.
  • Address Book. Maintain a list of addresses for easy access, whether in a dedicated address book (lovely!) or a note on your phone

Key Tip:

If you’re looking to invest in some special supplies, consider treating yourself to a nice set of stationery or a pen that feels good in your hand. You might also want to experiment with different types of ink or wax seals to add a special touch to your letters.

Make a Habit of Letter Writing

The frequency of your letter writing is entirely up to you. Some people like to set aside time each week to write a few letters, while others might only write on special occasions or when the mood strikes them. The most important thing is to start simple and stay authentic.

A watercolor painting depicting a rustic wooden shelf with scattered handwritten letters, a clear jar of wildflowers, and a small glass container with a feather inside, all set against an aged wooden backdrop.
  • Schedule It: Dedicate a specific time each week, even if just 15 minutes, for writing letters. Treat it like an important appointment.
  • Cozy Corner: Create a designated letter-writing space. Having a comfortable spot stocked with your supplies makes it inviting.
  • Mailbox Motivation: Drop your finished letters in the mailbox right away. The anticipation of them being received will fuel your motivation to keep writing.
  • Celebrate Small Wins: Acknowledge each letter you write as an accomplishment! Track your progress and savor the connections you create.

The key is to find a rhythm that feels sustainable and enjoyable for you. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to write more often than feels comfortable, but do try to make letter writing a regular part of your routine if it’s something that brings you joy.

So if you’ve been feeling disconnected or isolated in this digital age, I invite you to give letter writing a try. Start small, with a note to a friend or a postcard to a loved one.

An idyllic watercolor landscape scene showing a countryside path lined with vibrant wildflowers leading to a figure in the distance, with a traditional mailbox at the foreground.

The world is waiting to hear from you, one letter at a time.

Why Handwritten Letters Absolutely Deserve a Comeback and How To Add Them to Your Life

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3 Comments

  1. My grandmother ALWAYS sent cards and letters – cards for birthdays and letters (that usually included newspaper articles that would interest the recipient). She had such a talent for writing in a way that you felt like she was there having a conversation with you. She would always say, “you can’t reread a phone call!” I’ve wanted to start sending more cards and letters to people and this post (and remembering my grandma!) was just the push I needed! Thank you ♥️

    1. hi katie! i’m so glad to hear this! i also think you’ll find the act of sitting down to write something is relaxing and makes your day better too.

  2. I started this year by resolving to mail a handwritten birthday card to all my family and friends. At the first of the month, I sit down and write cards to that month ‘s birthdays. I wanted to do something special for the recipients, like you said, but it turned out I’m getting the gift. So many people have called me when they received their card, just to say I made their day.