Have you ever loved something so much that the words won’t come out? You know how you feel, but you don’t know how to say it?
Well this Valentine’s Day, don’t say it at all.
No, we're not trying to ruin your relationship. But why say how you feel when you can write how you feel?
“A letter always feels to me like immortality because it is the mind alone without corporeal friend.”
When you write a letter, it’s just “your mind alone.” It’s putting your spirit on paper. No distractions, nothing tying you down or holding you back. It strips every physical barrier down, and shows your raw thoughts and feelings, without the filters of body language and facial features. Writing a love letter is the same thing. Except instead of your mind alone, it shows your heart alone. It’s putting your heart on paper.
Sounds scary, we know. But what sounds scarier: stumbling over words as you rush through a speech you tried to memorize, while the waiter asks how you want your steak cooked? Or sitting down with a pen and paper, taking time to think about that special someone, and carefully crafting every word (but also remembering you can start over or scribble out a line if it comes out wrong)?
Handwritten letters are no doubt a dying art.
But as Emily Dickinson would say, handwritten letters are also a “joy of earth."
Think of the last time you received a handwritten letter. Maybe it was from a grandparent. Maybe it was for your birthday.
Remember mindlessly sifting through that stack of white bills and spam mail. Then, you see a small, colorful envelope with your name scribbled in pen. Your face lights up, excitement rushes in, and a your day is already made before you’ve even opened the letter. And when you open it, you only get happier as you read the thoughtful words inside.
So what are you waiting for?
Don’t overthink it. It’s easy to overthink writing. Especially with flashbacks to highschool and college essays. But this isn’t a five-paragraph essay. There's no structure. No rules or expectations. No time limit, no prompt, and definitely no grades. You’re not a student, and your loved one isn’t a teacher who’s going to grade you on your writing!
Your writing is a gift. Its value isn’t found beneath the wrapping paper. It’s in the thought and effort that goes into picking out the gift specifically for that special person.
No matter what you write, your letter will be treasured.
That’s the power of a dying art. The more rare a treasure is, the more valuable it becomes.
So skip the chocolates and store-bought Hallmark card this year. Skip the stress of saying the right thing at the right time. Take your time, pick up a pen, and write how you feel.
But maybe still take that special someone out to dinner.