Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The art of letter writing

Just a short-ish post tonight. I have a stack of books and a letter to attend to. And speaking of letters...

On many days, a significant chunk of my work day is spent being nosy and reading other people's mail. Not surprisingly, it's probably the part of the job I love the most, particularly when the letter writers are ... well, writers. I've long been fascinated with correspondence, particularly between people who know how to ... well, write. I find I can lose myself when I'm sorting through a series of interesting letters that share ideas, interests and friendship. It can be remarkably stirring.

As some of you can attest - those that I correspond with frequently via e-mail, in other words - I too love to correspond via the written word. For one, it's my main form of procrastination during the day. I figure it's better to e-mail than to surf the web since it keeps my mind (somewhat) active and engaged. (It was truly the best procrastination device when I made my living as a writer as it would keep my fingers moving on the keyboard.)

Still, as much as I love to write and receive e-mail, is there anything better than coming home after a long workday and seeing a letter - a real letter! - in the mailbox? Hell, it can even be a postcard. It's tactile and "old school," but wonderful all the same. To that end, I'm making an effort (and I know I can hear some of you groan, adding "I've heard this song before") to get back to real letter writing again. For those whose addresses I have, watch your mailbox! And to those who want to receive a letter, you know where to reach me if you want to send me your address. (My first letter is long overdue to a particular receipent, but I needed some time to reflect first and to let some raw feelings heal a mite. I know I'm being cagey and somewhat mysterious. Apologies. I actually started it today while in the laundromat.)

1 comment:

Ixtab said...

Funny--my friend just emailed me and told me on Japanese news the other day they talked about an experiment that tested what portion of the brain was used when emailing or text messaging as opposed to handwriting. In the electronic forms of communication, only a small portion of study participants' brains were used, but handwriting used much more, for some reason. (She said 70% of the brain, but surely that's not true--don't we only use 15% or so of our brains on a daily basis?) Anyway, just one more reason not to forget about the humble letter.