Never Underestimate the Power of the Handwritten Word

Written by Erica Landis

Social media. That’s my connection to the world currently. Can you relate?

In my regimented days of getting a five-year-old off to school, dressing myself in somewhat appropriate work clothes, and remembering everything else I plan to work on during my too short lunch hour, simply making it from Point A to Point B is my most attainable goal.

Social media is how I feel like I’ve socialized. Like I’ve ventured beyond my own brain and workplace. It’s almost too easy (dare I say lazy?) to stay in touch with so many friends and family with a simple click or comment. But it’s what works for so many of us.

A few months ago, I got an idea. I decided I wanted to send old fashioned, handwritten, coffee stained letters to anyone who’d like to receive one. So, I posted on this project idea on Facebook:

“Message me your address if you’d like to receive a handwritten card or letter! Let’s bring back the written word!”

Well, my inbox was flooded with addresses! And to be honest, it was more than I bargained for. But something happened as I started to write my cards, notes, and scribbled scraps. I really thought about my relationship with the recipient.

There was the cool girl singer acquaintance from my college town days when we hung out in music clubs at night and I thought she didn’t even know my name. She wrote me the most heartfelt response to my simple card, telling me all about her life now as a mom and struggles she’d had over the years. Like a semi-anonymous confession. We got to know each other more in those two exchanged notes than we did in three years of being in the same dark, loud, and smoky rooms.

Back before kids and responsibilities, I had some cash to burn. And often I’d burn it at the makeup counter of some fancy department stores. I will never forget receiving a handwritten note from the Nieman Marcus saleslady thanking me for my purchase of a $90 Japanese eye cream. I felt super special. And less indulgent for actually buying a $90 Japanese eye cream. PS…it really was AMAZING eye cream.

Never underestimate the handwritten word. As I type away on my laptop and you read these words on your screen of choice, try the occasional handwritten note.

In this frantic life we all lead, a simple note will speak volumes. Let that friend, customer or colleague know they are on your mind. Put a card in their hand. It will put a smile on their face. Guaranteed.

In a competitive business world, that simple thank you for your business greeting card or note may just help push that customer over the fence onto your side when faced with other choices. Your company name hanging on their bulletin board or sitting on a desk will keep you on their minds.

And don’t sweat the accidental coffee stain. Just keep writing.

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