Bard by BlueInkAlchemist, on Flickr

In the words of the inimitable Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast.”

I spent equal parts of this past weekend wrapped up in my Internets and staying away from them. I started watching Supernatural with the missus, got some chores done, played some Magic. I played some games, watched more Doctor Who, celebrated the release of The Avengers on Netflix. That last thing gave me more thoughts on superheroes, which I will share later this week. I fit in a little bit of writing, but didn’t get to Chuck’s latest Flash Fiction challenge. I will roll the dice tonight.

And I resolved to write more letters.

I think that writing actual letters is an art we are in danger of losing. It’s far, far too easy to just dash off an email instead. Or launch out a vindictive or pithy tweet. All you need is 140 characters! Fit in some swear words! Hashtag something relevant! Retweet! Reblog! Go, go, go!

Writing a letter forces you to slow the hell down.

You have to think about what you’re writing more when you’re writing it by hand. Not only do you want it to be legible, you want it to be coherent and lasting. This is especially true in letters. It can take days or weeks for your words to reach your recipient. The words that you write need to remain relevant for that entire time, if not longer. This takes time and consideration. There is actual art involved with this; don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

Life moves pretty fast. Sometimes, you just have to flow with it. Others, you need to take a deep breath, get some ink your pen, and start writing one word at a time. It’s the same for letters as it is for anything else we write.

Do other writers out there write letters? Do you still get them? Are “pen pals” still a thing?