I made it my goal at the start of this year to get back into letter writing. It’s something I’ve done on and off since my early teens but life got extra busy around the time I became a mummy and letter writing didn’t really get a look in.
However, I now have a bit more “me” time on my hands and I’m loving immersing myself in all things snail mail.
Here are 10 things I love about sending good old fashioned mail.
1. It’s fun
Writing letters, adorning envelopes, choosing stationery and finding pen pals is lots of fun! It really is a great hobby and there is a valid reason why people call it happy mail, it’s happy to send and it’s happy to receive!
2. It’s therapeutic
It’s not surprising really that lots of snail mailers are also keen journalers. The act of writing a letter requires you to slow down and pause for thought. It’s a rather therapeutic process opening your heart in a letter and as with journalling, it’s way cheaper than therapy!
3. It’s meaningful communication
In this day of instant messaging, communication seems to have lost something. Many people these days haven’t experience the sweet anticipation of waiting for a reply letter in the post or the sheer joy of finding a surprise parcel from an overseas friend. Knowing that that person carved out time in their busy day to connect with you and make you smile is an incredibly meaningful thing.
4. It’s an art form
Snail mail has come to mean so much more than just sending messages the slow way. Sending letters has become an artistic expression not just in words but in art and craft too. There is an entire snail mail revolution going on and mail art really is a thing! I’m rather new to combining mail art with my letters but just check out The Postmans Knock, Happy Mail and Snail Mail Love on Instagram and you’ll see what I mean, sending mail can be an art form.
5. There is no right or wrong way to send letters
Whether you simply want to write long letters to old friends or adorn envelopes with as much washi tape as possible you’ll soon find there is no right or wrong way to send snail mail. I have penpals that must spend ages on their mail art, others that love to pen long letters with pretty lettering and yet others who love stamps or like to exchange goodies. They all have their own style and preferences and I love receiving letters from each and everyone one of them!
6. It deepens relationships
It’s often much easier to express yourself in the written word especially when it comes to sharing about the big stuff, like hopes and dreams and the trials of life. Sharing on paper allows you to poor out your heart in such an honest and vulnerable way that it creates deep relationships that stand both the test of time and physical distance.
7. It enables you to connect with people world wide
Whether it’s writing to friends who have moved across country or to pen pals from overseas, writing letters enables you to connect with people around the world and learn about different countries and cultures. You can swap stories, recipes, photos and more and feel like you’re travelling without even leaving your home.
8. It builds community
In these last couple of months as I’ve delved into letter writing and dabbled with mail art I have been amazed by the encouragement that is found in the snail mail community. I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise as people who write letters mainly do so to connect with and encourage others, but people just seem to want to share their skills, encourage your art and be your pen pal. It really is lovely.
9. It inspires
There is so much snail mail inspiration out there that you’ll soon be practicing your handwriting and investing in watercolour paints (as I have done!). I have found these sites to be particularly inspiring as they encourage me to learn by doing, rather than making me shy away in overwhelm.
10. It spreads a little love
Now I’m all for spreading a little love and truly believe that sending someone a piece of happy mail is one of the best ways to do it. Words are so powerful and words of affirmation sent through the post can bring so much joy with the added benefit of being something tangible that you can hold onto and read again and again.
How about you? What do you love most about snail mail?