I can’t believe it has been well over 6 months since I did an update of the awesome creative blogs I’m following. I still love everyone on in my last updates. But now that I’m using Bloglovin, I’ve found, and refound, and read more of, so many incredible content creators that I just had to share. So here are 10, well 11 really, blogs I keep coming back to and saving posts from:

GREENHORN

Greenhorn is a new blog from Marie Jaquemin, who you might know from the awesome New Age Creators project on YouTube. Its name comes from a term which “often describes fools or know-nothings in old westerns, but what it should actually describe is the acceptance that no one knows it all and that life is about learning and growing at every turn”. So, fittingly, Greenhorn is a blog all about learning, being green, and finding your place as a creative. It’s safe to say that I absolutely love this one, it ticks all of the boxes: interesting people, creative content, stunning visuals, great writing and a topic that I couldn’t resonate more with if I tried. I’m so excited to see Greenhorn grow!

ELLA MASTERS

I am a little bit ashamed to say that I’ve only just started reading Ella Master’s blog, but that has meant I could binge to my heart’s content! She has a real mix of themes, but all of them are incredibly well written and accompanied by stunning visuals – not that I would expect anything less! In particular, I’ve loved her behind the scenes look at her collections, her more personal feelings-y pieces, and her little fashion interludes. She has so much variety in a consistent style that it meant I was happy to sit and read for a good 2 hours, and I’m not sure there’s much higher praise than that. Also, if you like her blog definitely have a look at her illustrations and shop – I am so tempted to get a pet portrait of my fave furry fella.

GRAPHIQUE FANTASTIQUE

Natasha Nuttall’s Graphique Fantastique has been a blog I’ve followed for a good while, but I’ve really gotten back into it, revisiting its plentiful archives, over the past months after watching more and more of her Youtube videos (you can check out some other creative Youtubers I love over here). Natasha’s blog follows her life as a freelance designer and features so much great design content on everything from paper and stationery (her stationery week posts were so good) to DIYs to run downs of inspirational creatives. Her blog recently had a bit of a rebrand, think all the turquoise triangles, and it’s looking so fresh – I’d highly recommend you check her out if you find any of my content vaguely interesting or if you love colour and design!

SNAIL MAIL LOVE

This is another blog I’ve fallen back in love with. Fab’s blog used to be about great mail, and as a huge fan of letters I loved it, but she’s recently had a bit of switch in direction, and let me tell you I love it just as much if not more. Snail Mail Love is now more about illustration and design, with lifestyle and awesome stationery still thrown in. Her posts are always absolutely stunning, but they’re also really useful and easy to read. As someone who follows quite a lot of blogs that’s something I cherish, trusting that when I sit down to read a blog there’s going to be some quality content in there that I know I’ll get something out of. Fans of illustration, creativity, and stationery definitely check her out!

WORK WORK WORK

Work Work Work is all about how women in aspirational, often creative, industries got where they are through hard work and struggles they’ve had to face along the way. It’s not just a blog it’s “an anti-perfectionism project which aims to reveal and explore the non-edited challenges that women face behind the fantasy of social media”. I feel like this is such a necessary voice, or rather group of voices online, and it’s absolutely fascinating to get to see what it’s really like to do many of the things that are glorified across the web. Work Work Work is also incredibly produced, honestly, their posts are of such high quality. It should really be required reading for anyone who’s comparing themselves to images and ideas they see online.

WIT & DELIGHT

Whenever I read Wit & Delight I just feel better. Kate Arends started W&D in 2008, and since then she’s been growing it as a source for all things style and designed lifestyles. We’re talking fashion, food, wellness, beauty, homes, travel, careers and everything in between. I particularly love her pieces on becoming a freelancer and alternative career paths, as someone who isn’t 100% sure about where they want their career to go (and who is) they have given me a lot of food for thought and also a lot of reassurance and motivation.

PAIR AND A SPARE

I started reading Pair and a Spare for their DIYs. I love a good DIY, especially when the outcome doesn’t look like you did it yourself/got a child to do it and it’s relatively simple which is what they specialise in: easy DIYs that have awesome outcomes. But I find myself coming back to them for their blogging and lifestyle content which is really lovely and has given me so much, take notes and use it outside of the internet, inspiration.

MAN REPELLER

It’s not a blog. But I find myself of Man Repeller at least once a day so I had to include it. It’s so much of what I would want in a fun magazine and so much more. It’s funny and smart and much more colourful than I am. They talk about everything from fashion to pop culture to relationships and feminism. While most of their stuff is upbeat and quirky, and just a little bit sarcastic, every once in a while, they have a thought piece that makes you stop for a hot minute and just reflect. If you need to up the quality of your daily reading, or just want to add an injection of colour and cool ass ladies, Man Repeller is definitely for you!

DESIGN FOR MANKIND

I love how Erin Loechner writes, it’s the perfect balance of poetic and creative and easy to read, and I just love it. Her blog is somewhere on the creative lifestyle spectrum, but I’m not sure where because it inhabits a corner all of its own. It’s at once real and relatable, and inspirational and a bit motivating. I think you just have to read it for yourself because clearly, I’m not sure how to describe it other than in vague and gushing platitudes.

THE DIELINE & FOR PRINT ONLY

I love both of these blogs for inspiration. They post some really high quality and inventive design work, all centred around print. It’s amazing to see what people are doing and managing to innovate, in a medium that has effectively been around forever. Whenever I feel stagnated or like everything I’m seeing is the same these are the blog to which I turn. To add to that, For Print Only structures its posts so so well, and I love how they include production or personal lessons from each piece. It’s really refreshing and adds something personal to what could just be a “hey look at this cool thing” post.

Which blogs are you loving right now? Who should I be following?

PS – if you’re not following me on Bloglovin I’d recommend it, it’s the best way to keep up to date with any new posts/what I’m reading!

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I have found myself gravitating towards the illustrated books on recent, and quite frequent trips to bookshops. For as long as I can remember I’ve loved illustrated books; one of my final GCSE projects was an illustrated book about a llama who got lost. They’re not just works of art, and they’re not just stories, they’re a magical melding of the two that elevates each element to something more.

So, I thought I’d share 10 of my favourite illustrated books at the minute after having so much fun doing my list of the best book covers. Without further ado, and in no particular order, here are 10 of my favourite illustrated books (that aren’t just for children):

 

We Found a Hat, Jon Klassen

Illustrator: Jon Klassen

We Found a Hat is one of the most aesthetically pleasing books on this list with its graded backgrounds and pastel shades. It’s a simple story of two turtles who find a hat, which is paired perfectly with Klassen’s minimal illustrations that leave plenty of breathing room on the page for you to think. It’s a quiet book, but it’s filled with heart and a subtle humour. If you have a friend you need to buy a gift for, I can’t recommend this tale of friendship and hats enough.

 

This Moose Belongs to Me, Oliver Jeffers

Illustrator: Oliver Jeffers

I could have included every single one of Oliver Jeffers’ books on this list, but I thought I should restrain myself. I love how This Moose Belongs to Me really showcases Jeffers’ gorgeous landscape paintings without detracting from his characters. Their sense of scale within the vast world he has painted only serves to amplify their story. Also, it features a moose, what more do you need?

 

Each Peach Pear Plum, Allan Ahlberg

Illustrator: Janet Ahlberg

I know the story to Each Peach Pear Plum off by heart, much to many of my friends’ great distress when I recite it. Its illustrations remind me of a very specific part of my childhood in the most wonderful way. But my favourite images will always be the front and back covers and the way they take what is quite a grown up almost Morris-eque pattern and fill it with nursery rhyme imagery – they’re just perfect!

 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle

Illustrator: Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is another unescapable classic. There is nothing more I can say about it. It’s the Very Hungry Caterpillar. It’s amazing. If I have kids they will read it to their kids and so and so forth ad infinitum.

 

Shackleton’s Journey, William Grill

Illustrator: William Grill

William Grill’s illustrated guide to the true story of Ernest Shackleton’s journey to the heart of Antarctica might just be the most charming book I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I love his coloured pencil drawings, for some reason they remind me of school geography projects, but the school geography project you wish you could have made. There’s just something about the softness of it. I also learned so much when I was reading it, I had no idea they took so many dogs with them!

 

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, John Boyne

Illustrator: Oliver Jeffers

Okay so I know that I said that this list wasn’t going to be all Oliver Jeffers, but you know what it’s my list and I couldn’t just pick one, and I felt like this illustrated version of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas brings something a little different to this run down. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is an incredible novel in its own right, but Jeffers’ illustrations really add something extra to the story and bring it to life. I’m not normally a huge fan of novels with sporadic illustrations, but here it just seems to work and the images are perfectly placed and designed to make you reflect more and understand the story.

 

All My Friends Are Dead, Jory John & Avery Monsen

Illustrator: Avery Monsen

All My Friends Are Dead is at once wickedly dark and funny, and just a little bit too cute. I feel like everyone already owns a copy so I don’t need to spend too long singing its praises, but what I will say that whenever I’ve felt down and picked up this book I have always felt better afterwards.

 

The Tale of Kitty in Boots, Beatrix Potter

Illustrator: Quentin Blake

I went to an exhibition at The House of Illustration all about Quentin Blake’s illustrations for this recently discovered Beatrix Potter story of a cat with a double life. The partnership of Potter’s humour and rebellious feline hero and Blake’s lively and energetic style is just perfect. Even though his distinctive illustrations are quite different to Potter’s they fit perfectly and it’s easy to see why he was the first choice of illustrator when Penguin Random House decided to publish it. I think this quote from Blake really captures some of that playful partnership: “I liked the story immediately – it’s full of incident and mischief and character –and I was fascinated to think that I was being asked to draw pictures for it. I have a strange feeling that it might have been waiting for me.”

 

The Journey, Francesca Sanna

Illustrator: Francesca Sanna

The Journey is so beautiful, haunting, and emotionally compelling that it’s hard to believe it’s Francesca Sanna’s first book. Inspired by stories she had heard of the current refugee crisis Sanna’s stunning illustrated book follows the heartbreakingly unimaginable decisions made a family have to make leave their home and everything they know to escape war. This is very much a book you just need to have a quiet moment with before showing everyone you know so they can experience it too.

 

Big Hid, Roisin Swales

Illustrator, Roisin Swales

After reading this article on Creative Review about Roisin Swales and Big Hid I knew I had to get my hands on a copy, and I’m so glad I did. Big Hid discusses mental health, and in particular depression, in a really accessible way. Swales’ charming colourful illustrations make sense of what it means to have a friend with depression so beautifully that it should be required reading for everyone big and little.

 

What are your favourite picture books? Who are your favourite artists making illustrated stories?

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I’m quite picky about what comes into my inbox these days. I used to give my email address to anything and everything, but now, after having a massive clear out of store subscriptions, I do my very best to only sign up for emails that bring me some joy. These 10 newsletters are some of the best, brightest and most inspirational from my inbox that I would love to pass onto yours.

AUSTIN KLEON

Austin Kleon has been an inspiration of mine for quite a while so it’s always a thrill to get a rundown of the articles and artists who are inspiring him delivered straight to my inbox. Each of his emails includes a list of 10 (or so) links to things he’s seen over the week as well as the occasional doodle and killer book recommendation.

CREATIVE ONLINE STRATEGY

I professed my love for Meighan O’Toole in my run down of inspirational blogs a while ago, so it will come as no surprise that I adore her newsletter as well. Her email correspondence is jampacked full of tips for getting the most out of your online presence as well as her thoughts and musings. I normally get to the end of her emails and feel that bit more prepared to tackle life online. Also, is it weird that because her emails always start Hi Natalie that I like to pretend she’s written just to me?

ANNE T DONAHUE

This is one of the select few newsletters I actively get excited for when it arrives and have to try work pretty hard to save it for the tube ride home. I look forward to it with the same passion and desperate anticipation as I do my mum’s Sunday roast when I’m home. Unlike many of the newsletters on this list, Anne’s is a long personal note rather than a list of other bits of inspiration. She either writes about her own experiences of trying to grow up and find her place or reader’s questions on similar topics. If you’re ever anxious about your place in the world, trying to navigate being a “grown up”, work, life, the usual, this one is so for you. Everything she writes is just so relatable and real, but so damn well written. So well written, in fact it has inspired me to try and improve my own writing. It honestly reads like a letter from a friend every single week. It genuinely makes me feel a bit better, and lighter every week. It’s also damn funny. I just really love it okay?! If that’s not enough for you, she ends each one with a gif of Leo DiCaprio – what more could you want?

BRAIN PICKINGS

The Brain Pickings newsletters isn’t necessarily a creative newsletter but it does inspire me. It is one of the longest on this list and includes a series of articles and thought pieces on everything from design to philosophy to psychology and science which aim to make you think. Every Sunday it encourages me to examine the world in a slightly different way.

MY MORNING ROUTINE

My Morning Routine is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin, it’s interviews with the brightest and most creative folks out there all about their morning routines. That might sound like it would get repetitive but honestly, they’re all so different and each one feels like a private insight into the interviewee’s life. Plus, they really make you reflect on how you use the first hours of the day yourself.

POCKET

I love pocket as a tool. It has got my intense tab habit under control by making it super easy to save and file away articles to read later. I also love using its explore function to find new articles to read that I wouldn’t have found otherwise. The Pocket newsletter makes that second function even easier, it’s a daily digest of the most clicked on articles from around the web, and there always seems to be something that catches my eye in there.

GOOD FUCKING DESIGN ADVICE

GFDA’s newsletter is one of the shortest on this list but it packs a mighty little punch. Every week you get sent one piece of their great, and slightly sweary advice, to give you the kick up the behind that you undoubtedly need.

TINA ROTH EISENBERG

Tina Roth Eisenberg AKA Swiss Miss is one of the most badass creative lady bosses out there. She founded CreativeMornings, co-created a to-do app called TeuxDeux, founded Tattly, a designy temporary tattoo shop as well as a co-working space called FRIENDS. Her newsletter is, much like her blog, an array of the coolest design projects from all of the corners of the web curated by Tina’s keen eye.

TOBIAS VAN SCHNEIDER

I had to include Tobias Van Schneider’s newsletter on this list. I think Randy Hunt, Etsy’s design VP, sums it up perfectly “Tobias’s emails are little peeks inside a big imagination”. They’re not just run downs of Tobias’s inspirations they’re little insights into his brain and personality which is what’s best about them.

TIFFANY HAN

I know I’ve mentioned Tiffany’s work before in my round up if my favourite podcasts but I had to include her here as well because her newsletter always puts a pep in my step. Much in the same vein as her podcast, and her work in general, Tiffany’s newsletter is filled with words of wisdom and encouragement for living a creative life. Her newsletter comes across as just so Tiffany, that you can almost hear her reading it to you and it makes her “just go do it” message even more powerful, because it feels like it’s coming from a friend.

 

What do you look forward to arriving in your inbox? What else should be on my list?

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While you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, sometimes those covers are so lovely that they need just as much attention as the book inside. When I was little I really wanted to be a book cover designer (amongst a few other things) and I still kind of do, and I’ve been working on that urge as a part of my book club, where I review and redesign a book every month.

I love great book cover designs, and there have been so many that have stuck with me and inspired me through the years. So, I thought I would share some of my favourite book cover designs (I’m sticking mainly to novels here), and a little bit about why I like them. These are listed in no particular order, and there are so many I haven’t mentioned, but these are 25 covers I love.

 

Against Happiness, Eric G. Wilson

Designer: Jennifer Carrow

This cover is essentially just text on a blank background. But the choice to turn the text into a downwards curve, an upside-down smile, conveys the book’s subject matter more effectively than any other image could. That frown in contrast to the supposedly happy bright yellow cover not only catches the eye but draws it in to find out more.

 

Loneliness, John T. Cacioppo

Designer: Peter Medelsund

This is another simple typographic cover (I just love them okay). The dot of the i in Loneliness has drifted off. This subtle detail poses a puzzle for the viewer and beautifully illustrates the idea of loneliness.

 

Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury

Designer: Elizabeth Perez

Whenever I think of clever cover designs, my first thought is always this experimental cover for Farenheit 451 by Elizabeth Perez, which beautifully capture’s the novels central image of the burning of books in a really impactful way.

 

1984, George Orwell

Designer: David Pearson

My second thought is always this updated version of 1984 by David Pearson. The idea of censoring the key information on a novel which focuses so much on the control of information is just genius. You can tell that the designer worked really hard to leave just enough of the author and title on the cover, through the use of embossing, whilst seeming to remove them from the page.

 

Middle C: A Novel, William H. Gass

Designer: Gabriele Wilson

This cover is as perfect a visual interpretation of the book’s title as you could imagine. A singular middle C, that apparently was quite tricky to get hold of, photographed on the most beautiful and slightly melancholic light teal background.

 

Resistance, Barry Lopez

Designer: Gabriele Wilson

Gabriele Wilson’s photographic cover for Resistance evokes a real feeling in the viewer. It’s not hard to imagine the taught resistance of all of those layered rubber bands. The earthy, almost sepia tones, always remind me of much older books and give what is quite a modern cover a grown up feel.

 

A Manual for Cleaning Women, Lucia Berlin

Designer: Justine Anweiler

This one is clever, beautiful and so so well made. I love that they actually made the clothes label, the commitment to the concept is what sells this cover in my opinion. It also doesn’t hurt that the idea of seeing inside the striking blue uniform is a lovely play on the novel’s look inside the lives of the women who wear those uniforms.

 

The Reef, Iain McCalman

Designer: Oliver Munday

I’m not entirely sure why I like this one. I think it’s just how well it is balanced and the way that it updates vintage botanical illustrations in a really aesthetically pleasing way.

 

Canadian Water Politics, Mark Sproule-Jone, Carolyn Johns & B. Timothy Heinmiller

Designer: David Drummond

I’m a sucker for simple well placed sans serif text on image covers, as you will know if you read my book club on The Shepherd’s Life which has the most stunning cover. Everything about this cover is so well placed and considered despite each element being very unassuming on its own. The composition of this cover really elevates an academic text on what might not immediately seem like the most interesting topic to something special.

 

Flappers and Philosophers, F. Scott Fitzgerald

Designer: Coralie Bickford-Smith

I love the entirety of Coralie Bickford-Smith’s F.Scott Fitzgerald series, the gold foiled art-deco patterns not only capture the spirit of the age in which Fitzgerald was writing, they’re also elegant enough that you can picture them sitting on his shelves. I picked Flappers and Philosophers simply because I love the pattern and I thought it might break up the high number of white/light covers I’ve picked for this list.

 

The Hobbit, J.R. Tolkien

Designer:  Adam Busby

Adam Busby’s cover for The Hobbit sadly isn’t real. Despite it’s being a mock cover, I absolutely love its design. The flat map design is at once a nod to The Hobbit’s past and a move to bring it up to date with the present. It wouldn’t be hard to imagine a character in a Wes Anderson movie pulling this version of The Hobbit out of their neatly packed suitcase.

 

The Waves, Virginia Woolf

Designer: Aino-Maija Metsola

Aino-Maija Metsola designed a series of these abstract covers of Virginia Woolf’s novels. The choice to go abstract really fits with Woolf’s modernist style which often relies on fragments and feelings to convey its messages in the same way these covers do. All of them are equally lovely so I chose The Waves, because it’s my favourite Woolf.

 

Juneteenth, Ralph Ellison

Designer: Barbara De Wilde

This jazz inspired cover is part of a whole series of Ellison’s works reimagined by Barbara De Wilde. What really struck me about these covers is how fun they are and how they really capture something of Ellison’s energy. I also love that when they’re stood together the colour blocks on the spines of the books come together to create a similar irregular, jazzy pattern.

 

The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling

Designer: Tatiana Boyko

Tatiana Boyko’s use of primary colours and simple leaf shapes reflects what an important, foundational work of children’s literature The Jungle Book is. But it also makes the cover feel modern due to its minimal style and centrally placed block sans serif title.

 

Seven Brief Lessons in Physics, Carlo Rovelli

Designer: Coralie-Bickford Smith

This one is just stunning, I mean look at it!

 

The Way Through Doors, Jesse Ball

Designer: Jason Booher and Helen Yentus

The cover for The Way Through Doors is potentially one of my favourite papercut covers ever, even though its paper element is so simple. The way that the title is divided on either side of the cut to literally allow you to see the way through it is so clever and really well done, this could easily have been a cover that was much too hard to read to be effective. For me what really makes this cover though is the fact you can see it’s real paper in its colour and texture. The little touch of the sideways extra text is so lovely as well.

 

Dry, Augusten Burroughs

Designer: Chip Kidd

There’s a reason Chip Kidd is thought of as one the masters of book cover design. The visual irony of this cover reflects perfectly the idea of an alcoholic in denial which features prominently in Dry. It’s seemingly simple cover but so effective.

 

The Woman Who Read Too Much, Bahiyyih Nakhjavani

Designer: Anne Jordan

There is something fleeting about Anne Jordan’s use of light to create this cover. I love how the text spreads between the two pages whose division feels almost sculptural.

 

The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick

Designer: Cleon Peterson

Cleon Peterson’s illustrations for Philip Dick’s The Man in the High Castle are so visceral and convey a sense of pace and drama about the novel. The figures on the cover almost don’t look human as they attack each other with knives. The entire composition appears to be set on a diagonal driving the action forward and setting the scene for some precarious tension in the novel.

 

The Lesser Bohemians, Eimear McBride

Designer: Oliver Munday

Oliver Munday features in this list 3 times with good reason, he makes stunning work and this cover for Eimear McBride’s The Lesser Bohemians. His fragmentation of the portrait leaves just enough of the woman’s face there to be identifiable whilst interspersing it with text and fragments of a floral painting, which come together to produce a cover I would not be opposed to have hanging on my wall as a work of art.

 

The Bed Moved, Rebecca Schiff

Designer: Janet Hansen

Yes, it’s another typographic cover. I love how fun this one from Janet Hansen is though, with its scattered letters reflecting the book’s title. The way the non-scrambled text is still placed on angles and slotted between the big pink text means that it doesn’t detract from the design or spoil the fun. I’m also always a sucker for a bit of pink.

 

The Solitudes, Luis De Gongora

Designer: Eric White

The way the hand type comes vertically through the centre of this cover is just magical. The muted blue grey tones of the background scenery give it a sense of atmosphere, and make the white text seem even bolder. Also, can we talk about how perfect the placement of the Penguin logo is on this cover please?

 

Men in Space, Tom McCarthy

Designer: John Gall

The way that the figure in this photographic cover is hovering in the air is marked out perfectly against the pale urban setting in his black hat and jumper, the focus is always on this man caught in the space. The choice to have the text edge just slightly off the page expands the space beyond the physical bounds of the page without ever distracting from the singular focus of the figure. I think it’s also worth noting that John Gall designed a series of these covers, each a little different, so it would work digitally as well, which I think is going to be more and more important in the coming years.

 

Word by Word, Kory Stamper

Designer: Oliver Munday

There are a few covers knocking around like this, a title peeking out from columns of text. But what marks this one out is Oliver Munday’s use of colour and handwritten text, the mix of unexpected textures and tones in a familiar setting makes Word by Word’s cover that little bit special.

 

Things We Didn’t See Coming, Steven Amsterdam

Designer: Peter Medelsund

The concept, the use of colour, the justification of the text, everything about this cover is absolutely genius. But I would expect nothing less from Peter Medelsund.

 

If you want to keep up with all of the covers I’m loving I’ve created a pinterest board just for that! It’s currently got over 100 pins and is growing.

What are your favourite book cover designs? Which books have you judged (rightly or wrongly) by their covers?

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Handwritten letters are something really special. I’ve written at least one letter a week for the last 3 years and it’s not a habit I can see myself giving up anytime soon. Not only is it a lovely thing to do and share with someone you love, I genuinely believe that taking the time out to create a handwritten letter is good for you.

Here are 12 reasons I think we should all we writing more letters.

THEY’RE A LOVELY SURPRISE

Who doesn’t love receiving mail? Knowing that someone you loved has thought of you in the form of a little envelope (or a big envelope) on your doorstep is just the best feeling.

YOU CAN SAY THE THINGS THAT MATTER

Quite often when we send an email or a text we’re responding to something or asking for something. When you write a letter, you can just write the things that matter more proactively (I guess you could do that in an email, but you’re more likely to in a letter). The idea that you’re writing for the sake of writing, for sharing something special is what makes letters that little bit magical.

THEY MEAN MORE

There’s no getting away from the fact that sometimes letters just mean more. There’s something wonderful about holding a piece of paper that you know someone else was holding and thinking of you. Handwriting can convey so much more than a typed letter, you can see emotion and speed in letters. Handwritten letters are just so personal, that’s why they’re so loved.

THEY LAST

Physical letters feel more permanent than their electronic counterparts. There’s just something them. Because they’re more likely to be cherished (I’ve kept every letter, and meaningful post it, I’ve ever received) they’re also more likely to stick around. Just think how great it’s going to be for you, or your friends, or your great great grandkids, or even your future biographer to get to go through them in however many years.

BE A PART OF TRADITION

Letters of Note is one of my favourite books I own. It is a testament to the enduring tradition of letters, a tradition which I am so happy to kind of be a part of.

THEY MAKE YOU HAPPIER

Writing letters to people you love is good for your mental health, and that’s not just me talking it’s science. At the University of Kent, Steve Toepfer tested the benefits of writing genuine letters of gratitude and found that the “more letter writing people did, the more they improved significantly on happiness and life satisfaction.”

IMPROVE YOUR MEMORY

Writing out what happened in your week, or how you were feeling about someone or something at a particular time helps it become a lasting memory. According to Dr Helen Macpherson of Deakin University “hand writing forces you to organise your thoughts that leads to deeper processing” which means that you remember what you’re writing down. So, write letters to your friends about the good times and the things you love and they’ll stay with you much longer.

IMPROVE YOUR WRITING

While you can just go stream of consciousness, if you want your recipient to get the most out of your letter you have to think about what you’re writing. Practising structuring your thoughts and getting it right the first time (it’s much harder to cut and paste on paper) really does help you become a better writer. I think if you put my letters from 3 years ago, next to the one from 3 days ago, you would definitely see a difference, even if my punctuation still sucks. Plus, you worked all those years through school to perfect your cursive, don’t let it get rusty and go to waste!

GET CREATIVE

Writing a letter doesn’t have to be all about the words, it can be a great excuse to get creative. That can mean anything from including some paper ephemera from the stories you’re writing about, to including a physical photo, to illustrating your letters and envelopes. In terms of creative letter inspiration, you could do a lot worse than scrolling through Lucy Halcomb’s Instagram.

TAKE TIME TO UNPLUG

When you hand write a letter, you have to give it your focus for however long it takes you to write out what you want to say. That’s time spent not looking at a screen, but making something and thinking. In an age where we’re increasingly looking to unplug and try out digital detoxes, writing a letter is the perfect excuse to step away from the blue light.

IT’S AN EXCUSE TO BUY/USE YOUR NICE STATIONERY

Now I never really need an excuse to buy more stationery, but I never say no to having one. Some good places to start your hunt include: Paperchase, Papier, and Rifle Paper. I love my super simple but pink (!) paper and envelopes from Crown Mill too. If you want to resist the urge to expand your collection of paper and envelopes (I have so much respect for you) letter writing is the perfect time to use up the random bits you have lying around. Got a couple of sheets of coloured paper just hanging around, use it! Got some off cuts of wrapping sheet that aren’t big enough for a gift, make them into a fun envelope! Got a wealth of stickers you’ve only ever used 2 of, decorate the poop out of that letter!

EASIER THAN YOU THINK

All you really need is a pen, some paper, an envelope and a stamp. It doesn’t have to be any more complicated than that. You don’t have to write the next Great American novel. It doesn’t even have to take that long. You just need to write something honest, something thoughtful or even something funny, seal it up and send it.

Are you a snail mail lover? Why do you love letters?

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