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is blogging the new letter writing?

Dear…all of you,

As I was explaining the concept of blogging to a non-web-type the other day, she asked me, ‘So is blogging the new letter writing?’ It’s been percolating in my brain ever since. My immediate answer is that I would love to think so because:

  1. I can’t really write with a pen anymore. Literally. The hand muscles that have to work to hold the pen are practically atrophied from non-use, so it’s physically uncomfortable and my hand writing more closely resembles that of a 3rd grade boy every day…but I type really fast.
  2. I have serious issues with sending things. I get hung up on things like finding an envelope, licking it shut (eww and I watched Seinfeld), finding a stamp and then getting it to the post office. Meanwhile, hitting the publish button comes easy to me.
  3. I like my communication served with a big old scoop of instant gratification. Letters take 2, 3, 4 days to cross the U.S. – even 5 or 6 if I’m just trying to send them from one end of my tiny little island to the other.
  4. I always tell my bloggers-in-training to write the blog as if they were writing directly to someONE (friend, family, ideal client) – make that connection, let your post be personal or authentic or apropos (pick at least one.)
  5. It would make comments and return visits the ‘letter back’ – and everyone wants a letter back, an answer, a response. So, your posts should ask questions, elicit strong feelings, make people feel welcome, inherently give good information while emboldening your readers to answer back with their own thoughts and brilliance.
  6. Blogging over letter writing saves paper, transportation fuel and your fingers (from papercuts)…though computers use electricity, I think more energy is saved via blogging.
  7. We still have email for the private stuff, this is a live broadcast from the heart and guts…blogging is a letter to the world.

Write back soon and tell me what you think.

Be well,


Join the discussion 13 Comments

  • I laughed out loud at #1 and #2. Why? Because I feel exactly the same way! My handwriting isn’t what it used to be, given the 7-10 hours a day spent in front of a computer. And if I don’t have a stamp, you can forget putting anything in the mail. If I have to actually go to the post office, you have almost no hope at all :)

  • Marilou says:

    Nice post. I think a key point you make is: write as if writing to someONE. I will keep that in mind as I write my posts… Thanks!

  • Ron Miller says:

    Dear Julie:
    So nice to hear from you. It was so nice of you to write a blog post just for me. What? It wasn’t just for me? But it sounded like you were speaking to me…oh well, you must be doing something right because it felt like it was directed at me. :-)

    Keep on blogging, babe (that’s sort of like keep on trucking, babe, but different).

    Say hello to the family and hope to hear from you again soon.


  • Julie,
    I think this is true in a way except that I think the Internet gives the writer a sense of liberty that might not be found on paper. There is a sense of being uninhibited somehow that can yield either amazing or scary results. Unless you’re me and then it’s both. LOL

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Julie Roads says:

    Jennae! Thanks for commiserating & laughing with me! We are such chumps for the ease of the world online! I love it.

  • Julie Roads says:

    Hey Marilou…thanks and be sure to follow the link on the someONE point…it’s an earlier post where I flushed this concept out…(and there’s a picture of George Clooney…)

  • Julie Roads says:

    Dear Ron,
    Your letters make it all worth it. Of course you’re THE person I wrote this post to…and write all of my posts too.
    Your fan club membership means a lot…and I will keep on blogginG (that G was for Sarah Palin)
    Talk soon,

  • Julie Roads says:

    Marilynn (great name…) Excellent point…as we all know, hiding behind the monitor gives us all some odd sort of confidence (though I’m actually this bold in real life…). LOL, I hear you!

  • --Deb says:

    I really MISS letter writing–the kind with good paper, a fountain pen, and some prettily colored ink. I rarely ever write them any more, though, because I got so tired of never getting answers! Not getting answers to my emails bugs me, too, but not as much as to a hand-written letter. But still, I miss them. I have a drawer full of all the letters I’ve received from friends and family since high school, and the saddest thing is that I haven’t had anything to add to it except the occasional Christmas Letter in YEARS. Sigh.

    Of course, my handwriting is atrocious these days. It started going downhill trying to take notes and keep up with my professors in college, but it’s even worse now. I even did a series of posts about handwriting, starting with the whole, letter-writing thing.

    (Really, there’s a reason I joined a “letter-along” thing last year–a bunch of people promising to write one, real letter to other participants, and to ANSWER the letter they got!)

  • Giyen says:

    With the downturn in the economy, I can’t afford stamps. I can’t even afford the gas that it takes to drive to the post office to get the stamps.

    And blogging is much better than the dear friends and family letters.

    Funny post!

  • Megan says:

    I think emailing is the new letter writing, but blogging can is a close second. Like Deb, I still miss a nice hand written letter or card. There’s nothing really like it. Good post though.


  • Julie Roads says:

    You know, Megan, I had that very thought about emailing…it is definitely the primary parallel! I guess it was because of the way that I described blogging that made this woman say that to me!

  • Wendy says:

    I’m so sick of email. Bleh. I am like you with the typing… it’s very fast and convenient and I love how fast communicating over the Internet is.

    However, nothing beats getting a letter in the mail, like a gift waiting to be opened. And there is such a historical/cultural heritage in letter writing. I hate to see it in decline.

    I have a letter writing web site ( that encourage people to write snail mail. There’s still quite a few of us out there.

    About the price of stamps… I agree that can become a hardship, but it’s still a much cheaper vice than most if you compare “bang for the buck”! The really cool thing is to save the letters you get and you can enjoy them for a lifetime. I love going back to them over 10-20 years and seeing the changes that have occurred in all our lives. Fun.

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