Friday, January 29, 2010

I Vow to Write Letters Differently

So, I was in my Women in the Arts class this morning and we were discussing women in the Middle Ages, and the letters they wrote. We were asked by the professor where Medieval women might have gone to learn to write letters. We went off on a tangent about how the students in the class learned to write letters, and about how there is a formula for each and every letter you want to write. One woman put it interestingly: "When I was in elementary school, we learned how to write 'Thank You' notes, and in those, we were supposed to start with a greeting, then thank them, then say something nice about them, then thank them again and end the letter." When she put it like this, I came to the realization that letters are so prescribed, that no one really says what they want to in their letters. They never have, and never will. So from now on, I will not follow the rules of the letter. I will write my name and return address on the envelope, and the receiver's name and address on the envelope, and when I get to the actual letter writing part, I will say exactly what I mean and nothing else. Niceties only if I mean to say them, and not to humble myself or uplift the person I am writing to. My next letter will be very similar to my blog in that it will be a random smattering of things, things that include silly little tidbits about what I think about during the day, as well as the purpose for writing the letter, but my next letter will be anything but prescribed. My next letter will be personal, a letter from the heart.