When’s the Last Time You Wrote a Letter?

This Week In Writing, we celebrate the power of traditional correspondence and look back at the formation of The Writing Cooperative.

When’s the Last Time You Wrote a Letter?
Photo by Liam Truong / Unsplash

Have you written a letter recently? Not a postcard or holiday card, but a full-fledged letter that was sent through the mail? Chances are, it’s been a while. According to the U.S. Postal Service, First Class mail service increased steadily from 1933 to a peak of 103 billion pieces in 2001. However, since then, First Class mail service has dropped nearly in half. I don’t know about you, but it feels like my share of these statistics are all bills or letters from my insurance company.

Letter writing is a dying art, yet the idea of correspondence is significantly on the rise. With social media, email, Slack, Discord, Teams, Zoom, and all the rest, we are in almost constant communication — just without the handwriting.

The Writing Cooperative was formed in 2014, but I didn’t meet Jessica face to virtual face over Zoom until last year. To that point, we’d only ever communicated through messaging, except one physical contract sent through the mail years ago. We built our entire publication and community over the internet.

Correspondence is powerful, but I suggest that email and text pale in comparison to letter writing. Sure, letter writing is old-fashioned, but there’s something unique and personal about writing and physically sending a letter. In this season of holiday cards, I encourage you to send a physical letter to someone. Today happens to be National Letter Writing Day, so why not pen an opus to a friend?

Who are you writing to today?

Justin Cox Justin Cox

Justin Cox is a donut-loving, word-writing, nonprofit consultant based in Orlando. He also runs The Writing Cooperative on Medium. Come say hello!