Samara O'Shea

The Death of Letter-Writing

Excellent piece in the Times about letter-writing and how writers once used it as a warm up or cool down for their other literary pursuits. Here’s a snippet:

“Before the advent of email, many writers maintained a healthy relationship with their correspondence; they found letter writing to be a useful complement to their main literary projects. Letters were not only a way to stay in touch with colleagues or test out ideas and themes on the page, but also a valuable method of easing into and out of a state of mind where they could pursue more daunting and in-depth writing.”

2 Responses to “The Death of Letter-Writing”

  1. Mystery Traveler Says:

    I like the idea of keeping-up-with-correspondence as a warm up to fiction writing. One will be stuck trying to find the correct mood and vision of where to go and then will abandon writing altogether. Writing a friend about content you know to be true gets the juice flowing. As any writer knows, once you get going…you get going….

    The rest of the article talks about the interruptions of email to the daily writer’s life. I was hoping it would speak more to the death of handwritten letter writing, and less not-replying-to-emails when it becomes too much.

  2. Samara Says:

    Mystery Traveler ~ Hooray! You stopped by. Where in the world are you?

    I agree with your take on the article. I also find this piece of advice odd, “Spend as little time as possible reading and replying to emails, and dash them off with as much haste, and as little care to spelling and punctuation, as you can bear.”

    I can’t tell if he’s being sarcastic. If not, I don’t think that’s good advice.

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