Tuesday, 14 April 2015

‘A letter is not a system of debt.’

Hawwa pointed me in the direction of The Letters Page.  It is well worth taking a look.  I loved this quote from the Editor -

And this editor has noticed, in
a recent revival of personal correspondence-
by-post, how easily people feel the burden
of letter writing. ‘I’m sorry I haven’t replied
sooner,’ our letters all seem to begin, in the
tone of a muttering student handing in a late
assignment. Dear readers and fellow letter-
writers, don’t be so burdened! Write, or don’t
write, but enjoy it when you do. It’s nice to
reply to a letter, but there’s no need to turn
it into a chore; after all, if there’s a message
that can’t wait, you can always send an email.
(Remember email?) One of our editorial
board members, the poet and publisher
Éireann Lorsung, puts it very well: ‘A letter,’
she tweeted recently, ‘is not a system of debt.’


  1. So true. We do seem to apologise a lot (even in emails) for not replying sooner. I do too. Sometimes, I suspect, simply because that IS what flies first through our minds when we do sit down to gather our scattered thoughts and try to summarize them on paper (or screen).

  2. The same quotation attracted my attention. I thought I have published it, but I've discovered it's scheduled to appear in the blog later. The Letters Page is a great reading!

  3. Excellent point CJ. I have been writing more letters over the last 9 months but not replying to emails and letters is probably the major cause of guilt in my life these days. I do know that that makes me very fortunate (Thankful Thursday post there perhaps) but it doesn't make me feel any less stressed.

  4. I love this quotation too! I also recently learned of The Letters Page at the Mail Adventures blog--I am a newer subscriber there and found your blog via hers!

  5. Goodness! Someone took the mail monkey off my back!Thank you. I apologize too often for being late with some responses, yet turn right around and bend over backwards into a full hand stand in an attempt to reassure others that they should not feel like they owe me a letter. Perhaps the need apologize stems from a misguided belief that an apology, coupled with an explanation is proper letter writing etiquette? Remember the old two week rule? I will consciously try not to apologize for not writing sooner.

    Sure am glad I decided stop by today. Thanks.

  6. "Heaven, I'm in Heaven. . ."
    for Hawwa - via "Scriptor's Postcard" blog, because the Letters Page came to me via the blog, John - a huge thank you to you both for the mention of the site "The Letters Page." wow! McGregor


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