Thoughts on Letter Writing From the 52 Letters Project

The 52 Letters Project

~ Reconnecting With The Handwritten Word ~ Week #43

By: JoAnna Haugen, a full-time freelance writer who never leaves home without a pen and paper.

You may recall that about a month ago, I wrote to my government representatives as part of the agreement of accepting a professional grant from the Nevada Arts Council. When I blogged about the experience of writing to my representatives, I made the assumption that writing handwritten letters would receive a response because they are a novelty. The opposite turned out to be true.

See, my husband also received a professional grant, so he was also required to write to his government officials. He did what I assume most people do: He cut and paste a fairly standard note that was sent to all of the representatives, and he did this about three weeks after I did. Imagine my surprise, then, when we got the mail the other day and he actually received a snail mail response from one of our state representatives regarding his correspondence.

So here’s how it stands: I wrote handwritten notes to my representatives well over a month ago and have received no responses. My husband emailed notes a few weeks after I did and he received a snail mail response. A couple months ago I wrote about how it can be difficult to write a letter, and that may be one of the reasons why people don’t do it very often, but when you don’t receive a response as an incentive, why would people who don’t normally write letters do so?

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