During my Feedly surfing the other day I came across a new blog that I have enjoyed catching up on. Barb over at RiteWhileUcan writes about letters, mailing and other cool pen, paper and analog stuff. She recently did a blog chain letter of sorts that answers 10 question about her letter writing. I liked the idea and took her challenge here. So here to share a little bit about my letter writing ways is my Mail Tag Ten Questions:
I don’t exchange letters as I think I’m too OCD with to do lists. If I were to tell myself I’m EXCHANGING letters then every time I received a letter I would rush to reply as a commitment to up hold. I’m not a big procrastinator so a formal exchange would be too much of task exercise and not nearly as enjoyable.
- If so, how long have you been doing it, if not, have you exchanged letters before?
I’ve been sending letters for many years but I migrated to all handwritten and really started enjoying the stationery aspect since about 2012 when I dove into the world of fountain pens and bottled ink. I have been a pen nut for most of my life but it’s taking me a long time to get comfortable with the fountain pen genre. Letter writing with fountain pens and fine paper just elevates the enjoyment for me.
- Do you remember who your first correspondent was?
I remember getting letters from my grandmother. She had an old manual typewriter that probably didn’t start life as a real fine piece of machinery and just went down from there. The courier font was sometimes crooked and the corrections were works of art. I just loved those letters and you could never ever mistake them for anyone other than my grandma, she had a unique handwriting even with a typewriter.
- Why did you start exchanging letters?
I will change that to why did I start sending letters. Selfishly I enjoy using my pens, ink and stationery but the real joy is hoping and sometimes confirming that my musings have put a smile on the recipient’s face. I have read a lot about the handwritten note and most of it has been confirmed by the way I feel when I get one. I hope even one of mine brings the same joy to someone else.That would make it a wonderful hobby to me.
- Have you thought about stopping exchanging letters?
No, I don’t think I will ever stop completely. My letters are not long and they don’t usually have a particular story. I go through phases where I send more than other times but there’s always at least 1 a week. They are usually based on current events in the recipient’s life that I’m aware of. Could be a loss, a congratulatory gesture or just I’ve been thinking about you. Not sure what I will do if my health falters to the point that the physical act of writing becomes painful but I will cross that bridge when I come to it. Maybe my grandma’s typewriter is sitting in a family members attic somewhere.
- What is the maximum number of correspondents you have?
I keep a database of contacts for personal and work. That list is about 500 but in that database is a field called POSTCARDS. These would be contacts that could be recipients. Friends old and new, family, etc. If I have not written a letter in a week or so I will go through that list and pick someone that conjures up a kind thought. My mom, my wife and my sister have probably invested in larger mailboxes over time.
- Do you prefer handwritten or typed letters?
This one is easy. Handwritten to enjoy my pens and stationery. Notecards and postcards are also favorites of mine. I recently contacted an old friend and I recalled he was a Georgia Tech alumni. I went to ebay and purchased a vintage Georgia Tech postcard and wrote my hello thoughts on it. Not even sure if he picked up on that but it was fun for me.
- How do you define the sensation of receiving a letter?
I can block out everything else going on in my world at the moment when I sit down and open a letter sent specifically to me. I can transpose my mind to sitting across from the sender sharing a meal or a cup of coffee. Just me and that person connecting and sharing life experiences. The great feeling is I can do it over and over again with my shoebox of letters.
- Do you prefer to write or receive letters?
I enjoy both. Sending starts with picking the media: postcard, half sheet, notecard then the ink color, then the pen. After it’s composed I decide on the envelope adornment and yes even choosing the right stamp. It’s all fun to me. When receiving a letter it’s wondering what it’s about, what news will I learn, what is the sender feeling. I find my sharpest knife to open it by cleanly slicing the letter open and preserving the envelope as a security blanket for a treasure I plan to keep for a long long time.
Tag! You’re it. If you’re a blogger consider writing a post with these questions to encourage others to share the joy. If you don’t blog, but are interested in letter writing, answer one of these questions in the comments here. I would love to read your answers.
Remember: Write something nice……
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