Is the handwritten letter disappearing?

I love getting mail.

Mail that our mail driver has to deliver to our metal mailbox that stands by the road. Mail that I have to hold in my hand to open. Mail that I have to pull out of an envelope and unfold to read its contents, perhaps finding a surprise tuck-in to add to the delight.  Or cards to open and enjoy.  Real mail.

Not the junk that a variety of companies send en masse. Not inky flyers that rave on about the sales and specials their retailers are offering, spreads that are designed to seduce would-be buyers by their promise of ‘better than the other guy’s’.  Not political printouts of some kind to remind constituents of another representative covetous of support and praise and claiming bragging rights.  No, none of all that.

I like real mail.  Letters from friends.  Deliveries of items I have ordered.  Magazines to which I subscribe.  Letters from friends …

Letters from friends .. so few now that the Internet has taken over.  So few now that I don’t write letters nearly as much as I used to do. In fact, if not for the publication that I publish I would receive hardly any handwritten mail at all.  My mailbox used to be a very busy spot. At one time I was receiving an average of ten letters a day – can you imagine that? But, that was back in the early 90’s when my publication – operated on donations then – was going worldwide and I had over five hundred members. Not now.  Now I send only within Canada and the USA – postage is too high to justify subscription fees to mail beyond.  And that is sad.  I miss my readers in Australia, the UK, India, Korea, South Africa, and other countries.

Email is nice, but there is nothing like a handwritten letter (or even typed and mailed.)  My script is not as good as it used to be, perhaps because I don’t write often enough to keep it nice – or maybe because I think faster than I can neatly write those thoughts.   There is that problem.  🙂

Another thing is real postage stamps.  Sticking them onto the corner of that envelope, artistically created colourful, commemorative, meaningful, real stamps.  And that can lead us into another whole topic – of collecting – which I do.  But for now …

I love getting mail, real mail.

How about you?  Do you like to receive handwritten letters?  Do you enjoy writing them?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂



12 responses to “Is the handwritten letter disappearing?

  1. Great post. I have to stop and think. Do I miss getting real mail? I’m not sure that I do. I love the real-time delivery of email and the spontaneity it encourages. I, too, have lost my good handwriting skills, and I believe you have named the reason. Not enough practice writing and impatience at the time it takes to form the letters with the pen. Yet, letter writing will not stop until there is no longer a generation that may not be reached any other way. There are still some people that need our handwritten messages to arrive in their mail boxes. Blessings to you…


    • Thank you for these thoughts, Carol Ann. I agree about the time it takes to get mail sent and received .. and there are friends that I usually send emails to instead because of that. But most of my newsletter readers don’t use computers, so that allows for those handwritten messages you mentioned. I had to sign and pay for a package this week, and the mail driver who brought it to me commented, “nice writing”. To me it was almost scribble – I can do better. Now I am even more conscious of the fact that I don’t take the time I used to when writing. Must work on that.



  2. Hand written letters are the best, although I sometimes wonder if opening the mailbox and seeing those letters inside isn’t part of the thrill as well. So few people actually write letters anymore, myself included. I think that’s why I like getting and receiving Christmas cards so much. When I was a kid, it was exciting to have a parcel arrive from Simpson Sears or Eatons. Parcels are still exciting these days since they happen so rarely. I’m more likely to get one delivered by courier than through Canada Post..


    • I can so relate to this, Laura. I still get excited when I see the flag up on my mailbox because there is mail left in there for me. 🙂 And I love getting parcels, too. I hardly send any Christmas cards anymore, but this past Christmas I sent more again and really should get back into that. I believe we are losing touch with the people we have known for years, maybe because of the instant-everything-Internet. But, I don’t want to be without either one.


  3. I love getting letters and sending them. It doesn’t have to be a long letter, just a small thinking of you card or note will do. I get most excited when I get a post card in the mail. I am so lucky as I have many friends who travel and always send me interesting post cards. And becuase I love getting them, I always send post cards when I travel. It is part of the fun of travelling. I have friends who can’t travel for various reasons and they say they travel vicariously through me. I use email daily and it is a great way to keep in touch with friends and family all over the world but I hope the art of sending letters never dies. Great article!


    • Hi Darlene,
      Post cards are great! It’s wonderful what you are doing for your friends. Whenever someone I know goes on a trip and they ask if I want anything, I say ‘just send me a postcard.’ Then I have one more to add to my collection.
      I, too, hope letter writing continues on. Thank you for your comment. 🙂


  4. One of my great treasures, Lynn, is a group of letters written to me over the years by my grandmother. In some of these letters she explained how things were made or done when she was a child in the early 1900s. Physical letters can be archived in a special way that electronic notes/letters cannot. I love touching the paper that my grandmother touched. I love seeing her handwriting. I hope my granddaughters will also treasure these letters someday!


    • oh, what a precious treasure your grandmother has given you, Sue. I’m sure you keep them very safe. How interesting.
      Do you also continue this with your own granddaughters? … writing to them in the same way? Then they will have double the treasure.
      Thanks for sharing about this. 🙂


  5. Ah on a grand scale it seems to be disappearing, but there are “hold out” segments of the world still writing letters. If you’re interested in what other’s have to say about letters, take a look at my blog list. There are lots of people out there writing and blogging about the experience.


    • Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment. I stopped by your interesting blog, thank you for the invitation, and you do have quite a list there of people who continue to be letter writers. That is wonderful. 🙂 I love what you did about writing a letter a day in 2010 – including companies. I have done that, written to companies, but to inform them of problems, or to compliment one in particular. Their responses are interesting. You may have given me an idea to pursue. hmmmm

      Thanks again. I appreciate your contribution. 🙂


  6. Handwritten letters are fun to get! I think they are great. I need to be better as sending them, though. 😦


    • Oh I need to improve, too, Donna. Getting down to actually doing it is the problem for me, but it would be nice to write one a day or even a couple a week. 🙂 Good intentions and all that.


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