On Writing – Personal Milestones

twain

The past few days have been quiet again both due to the editing grind, but also because yesterday was my 30th birthday. I didn’t get any project related writing done, but I  did approach the birthday with a certain solemnity. 30’s a milestone so I wanted to really take stock of things: where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’m going.

What I’m most grateful for through all the lenses I just mentioned peering through were my friends. So, I took the day to write a few letters to the friends who profoundly matter to me. If there’s any day I think being sentimental can be excused it’s on one’s  birthday and if I were to do any writing to mark the occasion, I’m glad it was writing to people who I love.

That being said, there is a certain art to letter writing that I think every writer should practice. As noted in today’s quote from Twain, anyone can sit and just drop a verbal deluge on their target and hit send (or put it in the mail if you’re more classically inclined), but the art required to craft a complete yet efficient missive to someone is worthwhile practice. To update and inquire after them for updates succinctly and with logical flow in just a couple hundred words is fabulous training and I’m always glad for the excuse for it.

Of similar note, I remember a teacher of mine in high school teaching us poetry asking if any of us had ever written someone a love letter. I think I may have been the only dope shameless enough to raise his hand, which didn’t matter. His ultimate point was to advise us that in love letters, stories, and poetry about love to avoid using the word love but still make the feeling plain.

I said a lot of thank yous to my friends yesterday, but I didn’t use the word “love” once. I hope I met the challenge and they know how I feel about them all the same.

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