Unsent Letters

Handwritten Letter

I was recently thinking about a song by R.E.M. titled E-Bow The Letter.  This post was inspired by the song.

Generally, people are familiar with the letters that are sent through the mail.  Letter writing, in its traditional handwritten form has become a lost art, perhaps due to our increasing reliance on digital communication methods.

The letters I am discussing in this article are those, which for whatever reason, remain unsent.  An unsent letter is typically used as a very powerful journal writing tool, but it can also be a writing pursuit in which the writer is in need of, or in the process of seeking closure.  When a writer writes, they are essentially conjuring up the very essence of their being by placing words on paper.  An unsent letter is one that although brutally honest in its content and intent, never gets sent to the recipient for whom it was written.

An unsent letter allows its creator to say what they feel needs to be said without any real or imagined consequences that might arise from sending the letter in an actual sense.  Any unsent letter can be anything we wanted or needed to say to someone or something, but haven’t for whatever reason, such as an apology, unfinished business, secrets, etc.


  • Nikki-ann

    Hello… Long time no visit!

    I love hand-written letters and once in a while I’ll find one I’d written but not sent (or sometimes not even finished).

    • Thomas

      Now that’s an interesting angle I hadn’t considered. I wrote this based on letters that were written with the intent of not sending them.

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