The Art of Letter Writing

I don’t send a lot of letters.  In fact, I could probably count on one hand the number of letters I hand wrote in 2007, not including christmas cards, of course!  However, I really want to be a person known for writing thoughtful letters.  I want to write thank you notes, ‘just because’ missives, and  well-crafted love letters.  Instead I send emails.  Last year I sent literally thousands of emails, and less than 5 letters, and I can’t help but feel that something has been lost.

Consequently, I decided that today’s theme for the Tumblr blog would be the lost (?) art of letter writing.  I found some really interesting links, images, clips etc, and I also put together a new voice thread on the topic which you can view here.  In fact one of the reasons why I’m so enthusiastic about Voice Thread is that you can record your comments using either your voice or text.  It seems to me that this reinstates a physical intimacy which is often lost through computer screen interactions.  It would be lovely to hear the voices of my readers, so if you can get the technology to work, why don’t you try leaving a voice comment?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love technology.  I thoroughly enjoy playing with it, creating new projects using it, promoting it etc.  I’m certainly not advocating the return to some pre-tech age!  I’m just beginning to wonder whether I may have lost the balance between old and new ways of communicating.

I’d love to know what you think about this.  Do you still send letters?  Do you think in our tech-centred society that we are collectively losing the art of letter writing?  And what about voices?  In this age of interactivity, is there a place for the human voice, or has it been supplanted by Twitter, MSN and chat forums?

Like I said, check out the Tumblr Blog for 10 (very!) short posts on letter writing, and you can leave comments both here and over at the letter writing voice thread.


January 16, 2008. Creativity, Inspiration.


  1. Penelope Anne replied:

    I started writing letters as a teenager and never really stopped. I think too many people have lost the art of writing a letter, but a well written letter contains so much emotion and feeling that you find you grow very close to the people you write too.
    And I will be sending you a letter hopefully by the end of the week.
    I love the new blog, but forgive because of my bad eye, have difficult with some things, but I am looking. I love your beautiful photography.

  2. Penelope Anne replied:

    The review of the Humble Bic pen is hilarious reminds me of something I wrote in high school….shall have to see if I can find that.

  3. amypalko replied:

    I thought you might like this post, Penelope! I used to write letters fairly regularly, especially when I first left home for university. Ever since then, I’m afraid, it’s been downhill. Glad you liked the Bic review. It certainly brought a smile to my face!

  4. Kelly Jene replied:

    I adore sending letters and receiving them. I believe it is a lost art. My children send them to relatives and it is a joy for them to get one back. I have a pen pal in Ireland and she and I email for the most part, but what excitement to go to the mail box and open a letter from across the world.

  5. Kelly Jene replied:

    Just visited letterfu and I will be going back tomorrow. What an interesting idea! Love it, thank you!

  6. amypalko replied:

    It’s funny, isn’t it, Kelly Jene, we all love receiving mail but very few of us take the time to send any! Glad you liked Letterfu 🙂

  7. Nicholas replied:

    I used to write a lot of letters, way back in the days before I bought a computer. I took a lot of trouble over them and as far as I know they were well received. I wrote maybe half a dozen last year.

  8. amypalko replied:

    Yep, the computer was certainly my undoing when it comes to letter writing, too, Nicholas. I still have a box in which I’ve kept letters sent to me, but I haven’t added to that box for a number of years now. It’s a little sad, isn’t it?

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