Savoir-faire: Week 11

When was the last time you wrote something down? Many of us have a tendency to use our electronic devices for most of our interpersonal communications. We text, we use WhatsApp, we call, we email… but we don’t use handwriting anywhere near as much as we used to.

For starters, writing down your thoughts is a great way of staying in touch with yourself and your feelings. Many forms of therapy rely on people writing down their thoughts and referring back to them. It’s a good way to remind ourselves that all our feelings and situations are transitory; what seems incredibly profound at one point may seem trivial once some time has passed.

Have you ever written out your past relationships? Under each name, think back and say what attracted you, what you felt while you were in that relationship, why you think it didn’t work out.

Then think of the relationships around you – not romantic ones, but ones with friends and family members – and make some notes on what you like or dislike about each relationship.

Also, with Christmas fast approaching, why not consider hand-writing some letters to the people closest to you? It’s such a joy if a hand-written letter arrives, rather than just another bill. Unlike an email, you can include physical, tactile gifts inside – or even an intriguing scent!

If I have something very important to say to someone, or I know someone is struggling, I write them a letter. A handwritten letter can’t be rushed and is less likely to be misinterpreted. The act of writing – finding a card, nice paper and even a fountain pen with ink, physically writing and committing to paper – forces us to slow down and consider carefully what we are going to write, with no or little editing. You can’t just hit ‘delete’ and write it again, or cut and paste from a webpage.

Here are some charities that unite people through the medium of letters:
frommetoyouletters.co.uk
warriorkind.co.uk
letterstostrangers.org (the target demographic for this one is 13- to 24-year-olds).