Elizabeth Weil, one of Twitter’s early employees told me about her passion for letterpress and the fading art of printing. Over the years we talked often about our love for paper and pens and ink. And then a couple of years ago, I ordered some stationery from her tiny letterpress print studio, PaperWheel Press. It isn’t anything fancy — simple cards and plain envelopes — just to write simple, short notes to people who have contributed meaningfully to my life.
The more I use Email, iMessage, Twitter, Facebook, MessageMe, or whatever new tool of communication — the more I feel disconnected from the actual act of writing. I appreciate the sentiments and the communication itself, but I don’t feel that vital tug of the heart. That was, perhaps behind my love for writing notes. (And that also I get to use my big and heavy Montblanc 149 fountain pen — an added bonus.)
Another friend, Perry Nelson, who knows how much I love writing notes shared an article from The New York Times, about the quiet revival of the found art of thank you notes. Perry, incidentally, runs Nicely Noted, a small little stationery operation in Austin, Texas and is a pretty awesome person. The Times article points out that Jimmy Fallon writes thank you notes (and that alone makes him cool in my books) but so do increasing number of young people. Or maybe Jimmy is influencing them.
I for one like the idea of sending and receiving a small note — it is a little surprise in the mailbox filled with communications that want something from you — junk mail, charity contributions, bills and catalogues.