The “lost” art

A couple months ago my mentor up in New England sent me a hand written letter and I about shit myself at the fact that it was 6 pages, single spaced, double sided. That’s twelve pages of bad handwriting that she took the time to sit and pound out in one sitting (she commented on how her handwriting degraded over the course of writing it).

I’ve heard that letter writing is a “lost” art, but fuck that, it never went anywhere, we never lost sight of it, it’s just easier and faster to whip out your fucking iPhone and send an email while you’re eating dinner, or worse ON A FUCKING DATE. This is actually reason #459,838 why I still have a shitty flip phone that barely sends texts, but I digress.

I responded in kind – I sat at a deli and wrote a letter by hand, and that shit takes focus and time. I got marinara on the paper and was done eating LONG before I finished the letter, and when it was over I’d killed a pen and my hand hurt like a bitch.

It was a slightly different kind of writing – with no easy way to correct mistakes, I was forced to make shit tight on the first go or scratch it out. I had to kick the self-edit-as-you-go mentality and deal with whatever I put on the page. “I could make that sentence better if I cut this word and moved the verb and…” no, fuck you. It’s a letter, not a story with tight prose. It may be an artistic endeavor, but it’s got a different flavor to it than the art you’re used to. I’ve long said that all writers should dabble in poetry, fiction, non-fiction, etc. – now include handwritten letters in that pile. Study everything. STUDY. FUCKING. EVERYTHING.

So here’s my awesome offer / proclamation / statement : if you hand write me a letter, I’ll do one for you. I can’t guarantee the response will be the same length or that it’ll be timely, but it’ll happen. I don’t give a shit what you talk about, but generally if you don’t wanna sound like a dumbass, don’t ramble on about TV shows for 20 pages and then expect me to do the same – I don’t have TV. If you want a conversation, you usually get out of it what you put in, so if all you have to say is bullshit, expect a short “fuck you” and nothing more.

If you’re honestly interested, send me a message asking for my address, because I ain’t posting that shit publicly.


About benjamininn

About myself are papers, lots of tea, computer monitors, a stapler, pens, an ancient phone, more tea, some paperclips, and a lot of air.
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