The Art of Letter Writing

In the not-too-distant future, a virus has wiped out most of humanity. The few remaining survivors live in small communities where people are forced to barter for food and supplies by trading their skills as cooks or traders.

The “the art of letter writing pdf” is a book that was published in the year 1883. It outlines the history of letter writing and provides examples of letters written by famous authors.

Letter writing might seem hopelessly out of date in the era of mobile phones, email, and text messaging. But it’s an art worth reviving, and not only out of a misguided feeling of nostalgia. Writing and receiving letters will always be an experience that contemporary technology will never be able to match. Twitter is great for announcing what you’re having for lunch, while email is great for exchanging brief messages about the most important details. Words flying over an unseen motorway would never sufficient when it comes to communicating one’s real thoughts, heartfelt sympathies, fervent affection, and profound thanks. Why?

Because writing a letter is the next best thing to knocking on someone’s door physically. Your pen ink makes contact with the stationary, your fingers make contact with the paper, and your saliva closes the envelope. Something physical from your world moves via machinery and hands and lands in the mailbox of someone else. As an invited visitor, your letter is then taken inside. The document that was on your desk is now on someone else’s. The receiver is in charge of the document you handled. Modern, impersonal modes of communication will never be able to achieve the same level of intimacy as letters.

Kate and I were a thousand miles apart for two years before we married, with letter-writing as our sole method of connection. Over the course of hundreds of letters, we fell in love. I can’t think of a better or more rewarding method to get to know someone. Today, the collection of letters from that period is one of our most prized keepsakes, which we hope our children will enjoy reading. As a result, letters not only serve a practical function in the present, but also serve as historical documents, providing us with an unparalleled view into the past. Anyone who has ever came across old letters from parents or grandparents and was instantly transported to another time and place understands the power of letters to leave a legacy. What legacy will we leave to our grandchildren? What is our email account’s username and password?

Stack of love letters in envelopes placed on the table.

Now is the best moment to start writing to your friends and loves. I have yet to meet someone whose face does not light up when they get an actual letter in their mailbox. Even though the majority of the time it’s just a pile of catalogs and invoices, many of us, like me, look forward to receiving the mail each day. The urge for genuine communication hasn’t gone away. However, if you want a letter, you must send one. It is up to you to take the initiative and start the communication circle.

Snail mail has recently gone out of favor, and many men may need a refresher on how to use it. Today is the first in a series of pieces on letter writing that will feature on the Art of Manliness. We’ll go through everything from how to choose stationery to how to write particular letters like sorrow and congrats. Today, we’ll give you a quick primer in letter writing.

 

Needed Supplies

You’ll need to acquire the tools of the trade if you want to become a letter-writing artist. Investing in attractive stationery and high-quality writing instruments can make honing your skills much more pleasurable. We’ll go over each of these points in more detail later, but here’s a quick rundown of everything you’ll need:

Stationery

Letter with envelope illustration.

Stationery is your canvas when it comes to letter writing. For letters and notes of varying lengths, you’ll need stationery in a variety of sizes. Keep your stationery basic and distinct at all times.

Pen with a Fountain

Nib of fountain pen.

Linda Cronin’s photo

Using a fountain pen takes some experience and elegance, but it has numerous advantages. A fountain pen gives a subtle air of elegance and polish to writing that a 20 cent Bic ballpoint can’t match. You glide a fountain pen over the page instead of repeatedly pressing down on the paper, enabling you to write for hours without tiring your hand.

Seal and Wax

Monogrammed wax stamp for letter seal.

The practice of using a wax seal to seal one’s communication has regal origins. The seal was used by kings and dignitaries to guarantee that their communications were only opened by the intended recipient and to confirm who had written them. They only look great these days and provide you the opportunity to play with fire.

Opener of Letters

Using paws for letter opening.

Image courtesy of Living Studios

You’ll start receiving letters as you start sending them out. Nothing is more irritating than attempting to open a well-stuck envelope with your paws, so invest in a good letter opener. As a youngster, I thought it was fairly cool because my grandfather had one that looked like a miniature sword.

Letter Writing: An Art Form

Art of Letter writing illustration.

From Hills Manual of Social and Business Forms, here is a quick summary of letter writing. As we previously noted, this 1821 article contains information that is as relevant now as it was a century ago. Professor Thomas Hill will now provide a lesson on the fundamentals of letter writing:

You have some ideas that you’d want to share with someone else in the form of a letter. Perhaps you have a favor to give. You’re more than likely looking for a favor. In any scenario, you want to compose the letter in such a way that it earns the respect and regard of the individual with whom you’re communicating.

The mechanical execution of a letter has few requirements; after learning and following the principles previously examined for composition, the writer simply has to study flawless naturalness of expression in order to write a letter correctly.

Manner and Style

Language should be expressed as closely as possible to how the writer would talk. A letter is nothing more than a written version of a conversation. The writing style will be determined by the level of closeness between the parties. If speaking to a superior, be polite; if speaking to inferiors, be courteous; if speaking to friends, be friendly; and if speaking to family, be loving.

 

Originality

Don’t make the mistake of employing such cliched phrase.

Dear Colleague:

I now take my pen in hand to inform you that I am OK, and I hope you are as fortunate as I am.

Be unique in your approach. You are not the same as anybody else. Your letter should be written in your own voice, not someone else’s. In literature, the world is replete with imitators who die away without leaving a legacy. Originals do pop out once and again, and fame and money are eager to help them out. Famous authors from the past and present have strayed from the prescribed path. Letter writing provides a great chance to show off your creativity. Be yourself in your letter; write as if you were speaking.

Expression’s Purity

Keep in mind that in your contact, you should always use the most chaste and elegant language you can muster, while maintaining ease and naturalness of expression. The language should reflect that the heart is pure, especially in lengthy letters of friendship and love — those missives that unveil the heart. Allow your letter to be a record of your whims and moods of the moment; a reflection of your hopes, pleasures, and disappointments; a genuine daguerreotype of your intellect and moral value.

You have no idea how much that letter will affect your future. How much hope and pleasure it may bring to the person who receives it. How much it can be analyzed, pondered about, laughed at, and remarked on; and how, when you think it’s long been lost, it can be resurrected, typed, and broadcast to millions of people.

Will there be a term, an expression, in the letter you’re writing now that you’d blush to see in print when it’s presented to the public in years to come?

Write with a positive attitude. Filling the page with small complaints is rude to the correspondent, however there are times when a grieving heart may disclose all its difficulties and sorrows to a close friend, and get in return a letter of compassion and condolence, containing all the solace a written message can communicate.

The length of letters will vary depending on the situation. Business letters, on the other hand, should generally be brief, having just what has to be conveyed and nothing more.

Form

Main parts of a letter writing illustration.

A letter must have the following components in order to be written properly according to standard usage:

The first is the date.

a free second address

3rd, the letter’s body

4th, gratuitous closing

The fifth signature

superscription, sixth

The Location of the Different Parts

Letter Writing Etiquette

Unless the letter is disrespectful in nature, every letter deserves a response. Failure to respond to a letter when written to is just as uncivil as failing to respond when spoken to. In your response, confirm receipt of the letter and the date it was sent, then go through all of the concerns that need to be addressed.

If the letter will be short, start far enough from the top of the page such that after the letter is finished, there will be roughly equal amounts of blank paper at the bottom of the sheet.

 

Include a postage stamp for the reply when drafting a letter whose response will benefit you more than the person to whom you are writing.

Erasures, interlineations, blots, and postscripts should be avoided as much as possible in letters. It is more preferable to copy the letter than for these to appear.

 

 

The “the lost art of letter writing” is a book that discusses the history of letter writing. The author discusses how letters have changed over time, and why they are important in society today. This book provides an interesting perspective on the importance of letters.

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