Those who write clearly have readers – Albert Camus
Well maybe Camus did clearly have readers or wrote clearly to ensure that the readers he had understood. For a lot of us, we’re not sure who’s reading our writing whether we write clearly or not. One way to make certain that you have readers is to write letters to dear friends or relatives.
For the last few weeks I worked on a project about names, (your name here), and found the following quote by an unnamed eight-year-old: “When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth.” The same holds true for readers of letters. You sense as they read words sent to them alone that they may view you differently. You feel that your words are safe with them.
I’m really trying to write to several dear friends on a regular basis. I’ve set a goal that each month I will directly communicate to those I know who are in their nineties by sending handwritten words. If I keep at that, I will then start writing to those in their eighties. My friend Jill wrote to her mother all the time for decades even though they lived close by and saw each other fairly regularly. And by writing, I mean writing a letter (by hand) and posting it with a stamp. A legacy of handwritten letters will soon emerge if this habit begins.
I keep telling myself that being a regular blogger, posting in Twitter each day, and keeping up with other social media will get my work out “there” and someone will be reading it. But when I write to a friend like Myrtle who’s just turned 93 and is still freelancing, it is sheer joy. And that’s what I sent her for her birthday. Joy. Trying to return the favor with a simple hand-stamped wall hanging of how much joy knowing her brings to me.
Earlier in this blog is a draft poem to a couple of friends who are ninety-six. It needs some work and I have worked on it a couple of times, but I hope to get it finished by August when one of them has another birthday. If you’re lucky enough to have older friends or relatives, you might consider writing to them the old-fashioned way. If you’re lucky, maybe they will write you back, and you can enjoy the fact that someone dear is reading you and saying your name–in a different way.
Happy writing – Cheers. Taylor