Letter writing was once the main form of communication, before the invention of the telegraph. Letters would travel all across the world, containing communication from the official to the personal. While today, letter writing is not as popular as it once was, there is still a certain charm to crafting a hand-written letter and a certain joy in receiving one.
In 2014, 141 billion letters were mailed. While that sounds like a large amount, the U.S. Postal Service’s annual survey in 2010 revealed that the average home only received a personal letter once every seven weeks. This was down from once every two weeks in 1987.
Handwriting itself seems down in use, which can have some detrimental effects. Docmail, a UK-based printing and mailing company, conducted a study in 2012 that found that one in three participants had not been required to produce something handwritten in more than six months. This new trend may affect the actual handwriting skills of individuals. Docmail also found that 33% of people had difficulty reading their own handwriting.
If you are looking to take up letter-writing to hone your skills or your own personal enjoyment, know that it is a long tradition. Monograms, for instance, are an overlapping combination of letters that represent the initials of a person or business and they go back hundreds of years BC. Here are some directions to follow.
A letter generally has six parts:
- The Date
- Complimentary Address
- Body of the Letter
- Complimentary Closing
After understanding the basic structure of a letter, it is time to think about the materials involved. One of the most important aspects of letter writing is the writing instrument.
The writing instrument can be many different types. For instance, there are writing quills. A writing quill is a writing instrument that is formed from the feather of a bird. It will have a sharp point in which to dip into ink. A movie that has popularized these types of quills is Harry Potter. In that idea, there are companies that offer a Harry Potter quill.
Similar to a quill is a special pen that lends itself well to letter writing. A pen should feel comfortable in your hand and have an ease with which you can write. Many times, people will choose a pen based on the scratch of ink as well–its shape and thickness. Some textures may look better for letter writing than others.
If you like a pen but want to keep the feather aspect, look into a feather pen set. A feather pen set has many of the materials needed for letter writing. There is usually the feather instrument, replaceable metal nubs that go at the end of the instrument, ink, and even a wood pen. A feather pen set gives you the feel of a pen but with the plumage of the quill.
A feather ink pen can make letter writing feel official, even when just writing to a family member.
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