The Power of Writing a Letter

By the time you are reading this, I should have posted a letter in a crimson postbox to the University of Nottingham.

This year, Royal Mail are celebrating 500 years of service, under 21 monarchs and two world wars, and us British citizens may sometimes moan about delivery times and prices but that is some achievement. Finding recent statistics on how many letters are posted each year is incredibly difficult but to show some scale, a 2010 article by The Telegraph showed that the average daily postbag had fallen to 68 million. Of course most of that is bills but somewhere in that figure lies handwritten letters, however small the percentage.

Whether it’s a birthday card or a university prospectus, I just love opening an envelope or package that has come hand delivered through my postbox. I would go as far to say that it is in my top 3 best things to do (that definitely says something about me). Clicking open an email or message on Facebook can never compare to the thought of someone writing your name on an envelope and sending it to you. Is that why we liked writing to Father Christmas? The amount of letters I have from “Santa” stashed away in a memory box are quite a few and I still to this day treasure them. To think that one day young children won’t get to experience that innocent joy is a sad thought but I hope I will never have to see that.

So, to my inconspicuous first line: “By the time you are reading this, I should have posted a letter in a crimson postbox to the University of Nottingham.” I came across this project by the University of Nottingham called “The Letters Page” and as always, I will leave a link below. Anyone can write to them and it can be in the form of a story, poem, illustration, essay etc. and they are interested in “the literary traditions of letter writing” in our digital age. I am a huge fan of Will Darbyshire’s this modern love and sincerely regretted not sending in a submission so I saw this as making up for an opportunity missed. I have no expectations of my letter being published and still am unsure whether I really want it to, but there is something glorious about writing a letter.

A wonderful teacher of mine told our class of when her, and her now husband would write each other letters while she was studying abroad. Call me a hopeless romantic but I just thought that was the cutest thing ever, a letter as opposed to a text… I know which one I would choose. One of my all-time favorite movies The Notebook also features letters and there is just something about them that I find so special. A handwritten letter is something you can pour your heart to, you’re giving a piece of yourself away in your handwriting in a way that computerised fonts seek to conceal: who wouldn’t want to receive or give that away.

I am sorry to ramble but somethings are just worth rambling about.

The Letters Page:

Emily Simms: 17:35


10 thoughts on “The Power of Writing a Letter

  1. I begged my ex to write me letters when we were both away at college. I wrote him at least once a month for 6 months, then stopped because he wasn’t reciprocating. It truly is a dying art. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hand writing is “olf fashioned” which is a pity! It’s thoughtful and shows that you truly care to make some of your oh so precious time to drop a few lines for an apparently trivial thing.
    People slowly are beginning to appreaciate hand written letters. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d like to receive something in the mail that isn’t a bill. Oh well, as much as I’d like to wax nostalgic on the fading-away of letter writing, I’m probably the wrong person for that since I don’t write letters myself. Mostly, I have the handwriting of a 7-year-old with a chronic hand injury.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes! I miss letter writing. I had a friend who left my high school and we would write to each other constantly for years. It went on forever and it was wonderful. I lived in London in my early 20s and sent letters home occasionally, you just can’t beat a letter.

    Liked by 1 person

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