The Art of Letter Writing

September 26, 2016

Great letter writing is a great gift that can transport your reader to you. The act of inscribing your thoughts permanently onto paper, to then be held, touched; smelt by the reader is something no other communication medium can do. It is though often hard to think about writing a letter when you need to communicate something, and an email, text or social media post will be quick, easy and instant.

But personalised letters live beyond a lifetime, a record of a moment in time, a relationship between two parties. They are an important way of understanding past times, past relationships what are our future selves going to find about us in years to come.

Writing a letter used to be the main and almost only way of communication, send great news and bad news. The most wonderful way of war torn lovers to keep in touch and re-kindle their love. They are often kept in the family as treasure to remember a time gone by but more the relationship between younger members of a family they may never have known.


Let’s get the art of great letter writing back on the agenda. Of course not for every type of communication, the world, after all, has moved on. Sometimes a quick email or text is all that is needed and why wouldn’t you do something else. But sometimes the occasion, relationship or circumstances mean a letter would be just so much better. 

So lets try and break down why a personally written letter means so much.

Firstly I think that in these digital times the fact that it is a personally hand written letter is the most important element that differentiates it from any other communication. It’s rarity means so much and is therefore so much more special.

Then the handwriting – the effort to keep it presentable, the act of writing the letter itself means time has been spent solely on communicating to the recipient. Great hand writing means so much. Write carefully, consider each word, sentence and sentiment. Less is often more, and with letter writing and this is exactly what happens naturally.

The act of actually getting some paper, beautiful paper that has texture and personally printed with your own address sets the tone instantly before you’ve even put pen to paper.

Your recipient will treasure it falling on the doormat as the postman delivers it. Embedded in all that junk mail, a diamond in the rough, makes it even more special. Instantly opened, or maybe saved for when the recipient has time to spare and give it the well deserved attention to read it alone and be transported to the reader, even if just for a few minutes. But kept to read and re-read.

And on the note of keeping them, they’re often put in secret drawers to read and re-read secretly to make you feel connected to the sender. No matter how wonderfully written an email just can’t do that, even if you print it out and keep it. It’s not their handwriting. It’s not them.

So how can we revive the art of great letter writing, well by writing letters yourself. Buy someone the perfect Christmas present with their very own personalised writing paper and stationery. A little personal luxury in this digital world.


Buy them a book on letter writing, it’s so much easier when you’ve got examples to follow if you’re new to it. Pretty soon the words will flow from your pen onto the paper. Here’s a few to consider:

In Kind Regards, Liz Williams explores the popular history of letter writing and how it has shaped the world today - from the early Greek philosophers, to the great letter writers Byron and Walpole and famous letters that changed the world.

The Art of Letter Writing' gives over fifty examples of the perfect letter for any occasion. Unsure how to break off an engagement, accept an invitation to a country house weekend, complain about a courier or write to a countess?

What to write in a personal letter?

Personal letters can be written in so many different ways, past tense, future tense but often conversationally. They can be about whatever you wish and have no rules, but think about the person reading, what they’d like to hear about and how they would like to experience what you’re trying to convey. Maybe write about your hobbies and what has happened recently. News about your work, mutual friends or great achievements. You can make your recipient laugh, cry and love all in the same sentence.

Writing a letter takes effort in even sending it. You can’t just click a button and it’s there. You have to get an envelope and one that will fit your writing paper. A stamp needs to be bought and then the letter has to be posted. And then it’ll take about of 24 hours to get to your recipient. All that needs thinking about, prepared for. You need to say the right things in that ever so precious letter you’re writing.


Get writing your own letters to people who mean the world to you and get the right personalised stationery to express yourself with us here at The Letter Press of Cirencester. If you need some inspiration take a look at the Letters Live website, it highlights some of the worlds most famous people and their letters read superbly by some of the best actors in the UK.

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