Let me give you several reasons why letter-writing is a very worthwhile practice. Not enough people are writing letters, and this saddens and angers me, possibly to the point of rebellion. We will march under flags stained with the blood of email-users and cell-phone-talkers-slash-whores, yielding a new, harmonious era of paper and ink.
First, letters are nothing but masturbation, and everybody loves masturbation. The letter has someone else's name on it, and eventually it will be put into an envelope with someone else's address on it, but that's it. Every letter on every page is all about you. You, you, you. When writing a letter, you pick exactly what you want to talk about it. Sure, there might be questions about the other person written on the page, but they're the questions that YOU choose. It's like you're alone in a dark room, with a picture of yourself, yelling your own name. When you're done, you mail the finished product to someone else. It's a beautiful thing.
Second, it is one of the best ways to sort out your own thoughts. We speak our words so haphazardly, without thought, because we know we can get away with it. You can say something and then take it back, or pretend like you didn't even say it, or twist your own words to change the meaning. The sad thing is, those things aren't even necessary most of the time, because the person you were talking to either wasn't listening or was just waiting to speak themselves, instead of actually listening to you.
But not with letters. Every sentence, word, letter, dipthong, puncuation mark and coffee stain are right there, black + white, etc. Even if we make a mistake, we can't completely erase it, unless the paper gets set on fire or something. I guess you could pee on it. But that would only work if you had acidic pee. I wonder if xenomorphs have acidy pee. I bet they do.
Anyway, because of all this, letters are under intense scrutiny. If there is one thing we love, it's being vain, and if there's one thing we hate, it's being under scrutiny. I think this is a big reason why people don't write letters; Putting letters on the page is an open invitation to be judged. But scrutiny is good, because it forces us to work harder and better. Think of how much more work you would accomplish if your boss were directly over your shoulder for eight hours a day.
Before you put a word onto paper, you have to be goddamn sure that it's the word you want to use, because it will be there for a long time, and people will criticize the hell out of it. Before you can know what word you want to use, you have to know how you feel. Do you want to say "I miss you" or do you want to say "I'm thinking about you". Anyone whose ever had an insecure significant other (Yo.) can tell you that there is a big difference between the two. Most people don't know the difference for themselves whether they miss someone or if they're thinking about them; Letter-writing is the gun to their head that forces a decision.
And of course, these once carelessly used words carry much more weight, now that they are committed to the paper. It's like you woke up one morning and all the pennies in your pocket were suddenly 100 dollar bills.
And third, after converting those pennies into inky Benjamins, your mind becomes much more clear than it did before. It's like you just talked out loud, to yourself, but in a completely sane kinda way. The things that were on your mind two pages ago are no longer there. They're in the ripped-out pages of a notebook and can't bother you again, leaving you free to utilize your newfound intellectual and emotional clarity.
After writing all this, my mind is much more clear. I believe I will spend my time researching the chemical composition of monster urine.