Posted by: faultlessfinish | September 24, 2012

Ink Stains

Last week, I came home late and checked my mailbox in a daze. I grabbed the stack of envelopes and mindlessly sifted through it while climbing the stairs. I stopped in my tracks, however, when I found, among the bills and notices and flyers, a real, live, letter. Yep, a letter from a friend who moved to Toronto earlier this year. Five pages, written in ink in beautiful handwriting.

When I was young, I used to write a letter to my grandma every month. And I would eagerly anticipate her response. Getting letters in the mail was such a thrill. Clearly, it still is. Email just doesn’t cut it — and text messages most certainly don’t.

Writing a letter takes time and careful thought. And it saddens me to think it’s a dying art. Our technology is supposed to streamline our lives — we should have more time than ever, but the very opposite is true. Communication is clipped and to the point so we can move on to the next task, and the next.

I was recently asked if I work on-screen or off. As far as editing goes, I find working on-screen much more efficient, but except for this blog, I still like doing all my writing with a pen on paper — it’s a meditation of sorts. Being away from the screen brings me back to a simpler head space. While the idea of writing a letter back to my friend is a bit daunting, as I haven’t written one in years, I’m excited to sit down and really put my whole heart into a written piece of communication.

What are your thoughts on paper vs. screen?

Song of the Week: “Sleeping Pills” – Strand of Oaks

Namaste 🙂



  1. Sighhhh, we are all victims now of streamlining, and I must admit a secret, I force my self to write and to print whenever I can, and the funny thing is I have the hardest time when asked to print my email address, it is all lower case and contains an a, It is a struggle to print that lower case a. 🙂

  2. Write the letter, write the letter. It is more personable and shows more effort and time. Another way to demonstrate value to the recipient. .

  3. I am still an “off screen” writing person. Even in meetings or conferences I prefer to take written notes. When I thinking, planning or journalling I prefer pen and paper. Yes there is something therapeutic to the process that a key board and screen doesn’t seem to provide for me.

  4. I always start off screen, then transcribe, print and move off screen again to make corrections. Onwards until I am happy. Writing with a pen makes me think more about the words, there are so few of them sometimes in the poetry I write that I need to be able to get a touchy sense of them, and hand writing does that for me.


  5. When I first started my eCommerce business I used to send a hand-written thank you note on pretty paper to 3 randomly selected customers per week. Perhaps you wouldn’t be amazed at the response 🙂

    • Such a great idea! I’m sure your customers really appreciated it. The personal touch means a lot.

  6. I bake cookies in December and deliver them to my clients. That’s as hands-on as I get; otherwise, everything is done on-line. I like writing and I love paper, but I rarely use them. Sigh.

    • Ooh, well homemade Christmas cookies are as good as handwritten notes, in my opinion 🙂

  7. I just LOOOOVE the art of letter writing! Writing down on a paper, with a pen in your hands is SO energizing for me. I have the usual and occasional impulses where I feel like ‘typing’ my thoughts, but most of the time, I put them down on paper. Writing on a paper in my mind, is more personal and connects you more with what u are writing. It’s a meditation of sorts, as u said 🙂 and I am just as saddened by the domination of technology over this art form. I wish sometimes that I could have lived a decade or two ago, to experience this beautiful thing. How much joy and anticipation one would feel, knowing a letter was on its way for us with words scribbled from a page from a loved one- for us!

  8. Thanks for your thoughts! It is sad – technology is so overwhelming and overbearing at times. It’s so nice to get back to basics!

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