History

Overpromise
Too much of a good thing?

Let’s face it …

Email was a false prophet.

Full Podcast – a 10 part series

It promise the world, but delivered something much less. Even worse than that, it obliterated the tradition of writing letters by hand. I’m not a Luddite by any sight – don’t get me wrong. But aren’t we all being a bit na├»ve with regard to the promise of email that ultimately failed.

As for the antidote: In my opinion it’s handwritten notes. But for who receives them and for who wrote them the most. There is nothing quite as informative to ones inner soul as putting your thoughts to pen and paper without the help of a computerize device.

Beating writer’s block
Secret tips that aren't so secret

The best thing about writing:

The entry bar is pretty low.

All you need is a pen and some paper. As for writer’s block? As far as I can tell it doesn’t apply to letter writing. I get it: sometimes on certain topics writer’s sometimes hit a snag, or a wall, or the end of cliff – whatever you want to call it. But writing a letter to yourself or really anybody else it’s just about talking or writing about whatever comes to mind. In that sense, there is always a path around the block. In that way, maybe what’s not written about is more interesting that the words that are actually put down.

My point?

If you’re bored, pick up and pen and start writing. I highly doubt that you’ll get more bored by doing so, and more than likely you’ll get a “big kick” and great exercise jumping over all the so-called writer’s blocks.

Point of the pen
More accurately, it's a tiny ink-slathered sphere

Thumbing a text is great,

But nothing will ever replace the ballpoint pen.

As much as we take it for granted, there is something miraculous how the ink so easily glides out on the paper. No pixels required. Just unadulterated whatever you want to write, and however you want to write it. You can squiggle up and down. Use the margines. Draw little doodles. Or even leave a question open-ended and square it off with a box.

Try doing that with a computer or a smart phone, and quite frankly – it’ll look quite dumb, and sterile.

There’s just something organic about writing things down. It’s a good workout, too.

In sum, ballpoint pens rock!

In search of a pen
And a piece of paper, too!

Sometimes the path to salvation …

Is as simple as finding pen.

Short video on the art of writing

And, oh yeah, you’ll also need a piece of paper. From that point forward, all you have to do is write. Trust me when I say it’s as simple as that. And not just simple, it can have a transformative result. There is nothing more powerful that organizing your thoughts on a piece of paper and just letting your mind flow. It is almost the equivalent of a daytime dream: more freeform than structure, more spontaneity than anything planned out.

Anatomy of a letter
A good letter has structure

Yes, there is an anatomy to letters,

But the upspoken secret is this:

Letters are not as two-dimensional as they may seem

Just let everything you’re thinkin pour out.

Okay, that doesn’t always work either. But the point is this: The good letter is the letter that is “sent!” That means doing whatever it take to put your thoughts down in paper and pen and sending them off. Or alternatively, keep them for yourself. In addition to expressing truly sincere thoughts, I think you’ll be amazed by what a mental and physical workout letter writing can be.

Did you know that gripping a pen stimulates the vegal nerve, i.e. the “feel good” nerve. Okay, I’ll admit – I just made that up. But I also believe it to be the case. The proof? I can always feel the relaxation reflex (and deeper breathing) kick in when I get into handwritten epistolary mode.

Bottom line: Writing letters (or diary entries) is good. I recommend letters over diaries personally because it helps you connect with the wider world, or in this case a good friend. So thanks for reading my letters below.

Letters are as fun as they are serious, and always worth the time spent. Over time letters also achieve a cumulative effect. I’ll admit, finding a good pen pal can be a bit of a chore, especially in the modern age of smart phone culture. The good news: We’re ahead of the curve. Hand-written letters are on the verge of a major comeback.

Great email robbery

The initial euphoria surrounding email …

Has long since passed.

The bigger story is what it took away.

In the same spirit that original Coca Cola got renamed “classic coke” in a bid to add new products that would expand the brand, the handwritten note got relegated to the dust heap of the antiquated delivery system called “snail mail.”

And I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I was at first smitten with the promise of email back when it was first rolled out. To be able to type a letter, as opposed to handwriting it, was completely upping the game. Or so we thought?

The truth is I miss the halcyon days of the handwritten note.

Email sort of stole it from us with out saying a word.

That’s some pretty substandard communication from what was supposed to be the ultimate communication device.

Writing cramp

Have you ever been swimming …

And got a charlie horse?

A similar cramp happens …

When you write too much with a pencil or pen.

But don’t worry, you’re not going to drown. It’s actually a good sign that your stretching your writing muscles and getting into pensmanshape. A lot like becoming good at anything, it doesn’t happen overnight. You’ve gotta keep at it, fight through it, and shake off the writing cramps.

The reward?

Well, I don’t want to spoil the surprise. But trust me when I say that that writing by hand is an art that, the more you do it, the more it bestows its many rewards. So do you best and keep at it and keep writing through those “hand shaking” cramps.

Shake it off, as I like to say.

Or actually, not say – I meant write!