I is for Ink

When was the last time you wrote a letter?

I know. A letter.

When did you last take some actual paper, lined or frilly or otherwise, pick up a pen -- one of those tubular things that emits a liquid called ink -- and wrote out your thoughts to a friend?

With the use of e-mail, we are forgetting something quite remarkable: we are forgetting how to write with our hands ... and not just our brains. Like the keyboard, we can write out our thoughts in ink- giving life to our thoughts, words, deeds, images and feelings. Ink and paper are the beginnings of any writer.

But, ink is truly feeling your words. Ink lets you directly write out not just what you're saying, but how you feel about it through the way we write. Our words, though we can't write them out as fast as we can on a computer, are intentional when printed in ink; our words really mean something.

How about a journal entry? When was the last time you wrote out your thoughts in a notebook rather than a blog post? What about a little note to a friend at work or to a spouse at home, instead of a text? What about a postcard sent from a place you just went? We seem to want to update our facebook pages with our latest "wish you were here" picture, which ends up looking like a "look what I'm doing and you're not" picture instead. Not the same as a postcard. At all.

There is something about ink on paper that means more than any text, e-mail or blog.

There is also something great about writing out your story on paper too. Yes, you'll have to transcribe it to the PC, but so what. To write the way all the great writers of our past wrote is something you can't explain to a writer who only types. It's freeing; it's real ... it's the way all writing began.

Write a letter or a note to a friend or family member today. It will mean a lot to them, and hopefully, renew your creative world without the need for any electricity.

Oh, and just a heads up: you'll need one of those little square things called a "stamp" to put in the corner in order to mail it.


  1. The last time I wrote a letter was to my aunt two weeks ago but I'm afraid I typed it and just wrote my name in ink along with a couple of kisses. A few weeks before that I wrote some notes to friends who had lost their mother and that was pen and ink. I think it does make a difference to use pen and ink when you really need something that is much more personal and heartfelt. Thank you for making me think about it a bit more.

  2. You're right, I haven;t written a letter in forever. But I do hand write bits of my novel and story ideas every day. Does that count?
    Great post and happy A-Z blogging.

  3. I recently wrote a check, made out to the "US Treasury." Does that count???

  4. I find that writing with pen and ink rather than typing helps writer's block as well as editing. I edit online and then I go back and edit actual pages. Makes it easier to see mistakes, for some reason.

  5. love to write cards and letters to people--my only problem is i never seem to have stamps handy--great post

  6. Thanks everyone.

    Sally, you're half way there!

    S.L, yes, it counts!

    Jay ...um, no. And writing anywhere that involves the US treasury is not cool. That's sad. Do you still have the shirt on your back?

    Sara:Me too! Major writer's block overcomer.

    Lynn: Yes, it's a reminder to me too to always have stamps handy!

  7. I write in a notebook daily - typing uses a different part of the brain to writing - good to exercise both.

  8. Great post. I try to send my grandfather a handwritten note, inside a blank card, at least once or twice a month. I've been doing all of my writing and journaling by hand this year.



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