A blog for anyone who understands the joy of writing and receiving handwritten letters.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The rhythm of letter-writing

If you are waiting for a letter from me and wondering where it is, I'm going to shock you here and tell you that I am not going to apologise for the time it takes me to get a letter back to you. I've not forgotten you, and I'm not twiddling my thumbs. I'm replying to my letters in the order I received them... and I'm following my natural rhythm of letter-writing.

By the same token I'm not going to criticise anyone else for taking their time to write back to me. I have this theory that letters come when they are meant to. Yeah, that sounds kind of whacky I know, but I really do think it's true.

At work, my editor depends on me to be able to rush out a newspaper article when the deadline is looming. And I fully expect that I might have to force myself to finish an assignment for the course I'm doing in order to hand it in on time. But it really doesn't work well when I try to force myself to write a letter to some kind of time-frame. It ends up being 'less than'.

I can possibly write two or three long newsy letters in a row but eventually I will either run out of things to say, or begin to feel repetitive. That's when I need to put down my pen and go and do something else entirely.

My rhythm has gradually come to me over the past few months, especially as I've given up fretting about the pile of letters I need to respond to and just allowed things to flow when they're ready.

But that doesn't mean I'm just a blob, waiting for the right mood and inspiration. I set myself targets and do work towards them. Plus being a passionate letter-writer means always looking for opportunities to write letters and changing habits in order to fit in more letter-writing time. I watch less TV, I take a letter pad with me pretty much everywhere I go. I set up mail art stuff on the dining room table so I can cut and glue and stamp in the breaks between waiting for things to cook. Instead of reading the newspaper from cover to cover while sipping a latte in town, I'll sit and read and write letters.

Then again, sometimes I just take a complete break.

Allowing myself this gentle rhythm helps ensure that as output increases I still continue to thoroughly enjoy the process.... 'cause at the end of the day that's what it's all about.

Love from Kaz


  1. That all sounds wonderful, Kaz. I am spending more time writing and making envelopes and less time doing other things as well. I think your gentle rhythm sounds lovely.....

  2. I agree, sometimes life just IS, and it's okay but people need to learn that. I get to letters when I get to them.

  3. So true. I have to be in the frame of mind to reply to your lovely letters.

    I need to my letter writing mojo... my best stuff comes out then. ;-)

  4. Hey Kaz, thanks for your comment at my blog! I have only now discovered your blog and love it!
    I totally agree with you when it comes to writing back to letters. I used to put a lot of pressure on myself when I had a huge pile of letters to reply to and there were times when I did nothing else than writing in every free minute. Now I try to take it much easier and write only when I have time and feel like it, even if that means my penpals have to wait a bit longer.:)