Welcome to guest blogger, Elizabeth (Liz) Farrar, who agreed to share this delightful post about note writing. It originally appeared on her “Bella Vita” blog in September, 2011. She mentioned Heartspoken at the end, and at least one of her readers came to visit here and leave a comment. Aren’t connections wonderful? 

Did anyone catch the story on CBS Sunday (aka the best show on television) about penmanship and the digital age? It was a fascinating piece on the history of handwriting, current teaching practices in our nation’s schools, and penmanship’s larger significance in the modern world.

One happy takeaway: The handwritten word still matters. Happy Dance!

Personally, I adore handwritten notes. I try to live a clutter-free existence, but handwritten notes are an exception to the rule. My most cherished family possessions are the stacks of old letters written to me in my great-grandmother’s loopy handwriting. Dementia has since stolen away the best parts of her from us, but when I read those old letters about the weather, out-of-town visitors, and quilt shows, I get to have a conversation with her once more. And, thanks to those letters, I can continue to have conversations with Gram decades from now. Her handwriting is tangible; something I can hold onto as time makes its terrible march. It’s a wonderful gift.

There’s a certain intimacy to a handwritten note, particularly against the backdrop of this email/text/instant message world we’re living in. When someone takes the time to put pen to paper and (gasp!) track down your snail mail address, you can’t help but feel special.

One of my first bosses in politics knew the power of the handwritten word. He was a prolific letter-writer; jotting down thousands of thank you notes and condolence letters to his constituents. My personal favorites were the ones he wrote to people who submitted thoughtful Letters to the Editor in the local paper. In just a few lines, he praised their courage or intellect or both, and encouraged them to keep speaking out.

I would often run into voters who had received one of these personal letters (love notes, as the staff nicknamed them). Each one of them remembered exactly what the note said, and I suspect you would be hard-pressed to find one, among the group, who hasn’t been a supporter of my former boss ever since.

Handwritten notes matter AND they are a great way to spread a little happiness in this world.

The website, Heartspoken, is leading the charge and promoting the resurgence of personal note writing. Check it out for tips, tools, even a pep talk on writing condolence notes.

Have a happy day!

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Elizabeth Farrar

Elizabeth Farrar is a reformed political hack turned aspiring children’s book writer. She lives in Oregon and writes about her adventures on Bella Vita. Read more of her work at: www.elizabethfarrar.com. You can follow Liz on:

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