Rediscovering the Lost Art of the Handwritten Note

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BY HALEY SHERIF

Recently I subscribed to a stationery club called Happy Mail. Each month, the company sends me 10 to 15 cards with purposes ranging from birthday to sympathy to just because. When I first signed up for the service, the idea had sounded good, but in reality, I wasn’t sure if I would use them. I hadn’t handwritten a letter in decades. Gone were the days where I practiced cursive or scribbled notes in class.

Shortly after receiving my first Happy Mail of the month, I found The Cheer Up Girls on Instagram. If you messaged them your address, they’d send you a handwritten postcard within a week. The idea inspired me to take out my Happy Mail deck and begin sending cards to my friends.

There is something to be said for the handwritten letter. According to Mental_Floss, writing by hand has all kinds of benefits from improving our writing ability to keeping the brain sharp as we age.

As a writer, I’ve always preferred typing drafts rather than trying to decode my scribbles. For me it is all too easy to send an email or text a friend; it’s much harder for me to pick up a pen and write a letter that really exemplifies how I feel or what I want to say. But, after writing a few letters, I realize how important it is to fall back on these “old school” habits more often. And I find the practice quite soothing — it really is one small way of achieving wellness. There’s something truly magical about writing a letter, and based on of my friends’ reactions after receiving their snail mail, there’s something equally magical about receiving it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Haley Sherif is completing her B.F.A. in creative nonfiction at Emerson College. She is the creative director of Your Magazine. In 2015 she self-published a book titled “All the Pretty Girls.” Follow her @HaleySherif

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