Yes, there is still snow on the ground. Even with the sun, there has been very little melting going on. The good news is that we’re not expecting more snow until the weekend.
Professional writers are writing for a mass of people. I don’t know how they do that. I find that I must have one person in mind during the writing process. I either write for myself, a loved one, or a specific person who I want to communicate with or to influence in some way. Trying to pitch my writing towards more than one person takes some of the vitality out of the message.
Letter writing has always been important to me. I used to write a lot of letters. I reached my peak in letter writing in the late 1960’s to early 1970’s when I was in the army. I would churn out between six to eight letters per week. I never received as many as I sent, but that was alright. I enjoyed the process of coming up with interesting (I hoped) things to write about. My friends would respond to every second or third letter that I sent, and that was fine with me. They responded with commentary on what I wrote, and added to the conversation, or changed the topic to something that was important to them. Correspondence was happening, and I reveled in it.
As the years passed, I tried to maintain my volume of outgoing letters, but I was receiving a smaller number of responses. I assumed that people’s lives were getting more complicated (marriage, births, workload), and they were finding less time to write. I know my life was getting more complicated with work and dating (yes, I was getting a social life). Still, I wanted to maintain contact with people who were important to me, but it didn’t seem to be a reciprocated feeling.
Did resentment set in? Sure, after a time. It felt like the communication was a one way street. It couldn’t be called correspondence because that indicated at least two people having a back and forth conversation on some level. Often with resentment comes bitterness. I slowly dropped people from my mailing list, and after a longer time, even from my address book. I didn’t stop writing completely. There were a few close friends with whom I shared letters, but even they preferred using the telephone. I understand that talking on the telephone brings immediacy and a small amount of intimacy to the conversation, and that is good for emergencies, but I prefer taking the time to plan out in advance what I want to communicate. It allows me to consider the turn of a phrase and ponder if I am saying what I actually want to impart. Anyway, a telephone conversation with me often turns into long pauses on my end of the line as I try to decide what to say. I understand why people gradually stopped calling me.
Next time: The influence of computers