LETTER-WRITERS / Martyn Green
This week at the studio we’re very excited. Not only has the sweltering heatwave ceased and we’re back to our safety net of rain, wind and storms (you can’t beat a summer in London!) but also because we’re launching a new feature on the blog all about letter-writing.
There is nothing quite as special as receiving a handwritten letter in the post. Add a wax seal, or beautiful calligraphy to the address, and it’s bound to be ripped open in anticipation.
So, with this in mind, we’d love to know what got you writing, hear about any brilliant friendships that have started because of it, or even just an example of a letter you’ve received or read somewhere that struck a chord.
This week, we spoke to Martyn Green, a Property Consultant from London. Martyn admits he’d never been one to write often. Normally reliant on his phone for most communication, this all changed after he read a book that altered his perception of letter writing, and he now writes letters as often as he can.
Martyn, were you always interested in writing, or is letter writing something fairly new to you?
Letter writing is something very new to me, I’ve never been one to write or receive letters. Being in the modern world, it was sadly never particularly on my radar. We text and email constantly, but we’re never really writing to each other, never taking the time to read or fully process the content of communication. With so many emails from marketing companies and spam, the barrage of communication has diluted the importance of the email almost to the point of meaninglessness.
How did you become interested in writing?
I read a book several months ago by an author and investment expert called Guy Spear. Ironically, the book itself has nothing to do with letter writing whatsoever, and I did not read it with the intention of taking it up. Guy wrote about what he describes as a letter-writing crusade. At first, (and he willingly admits for personal gain) it was to increase his customer base and improve his sphere of contacts and thus his business. He adopted the practice from a story he’d heard about an American Chevrolet car salesman who is listed in the Guinness Book for World Records for selling over 13,000 cars in 15 years. After making a sale, he would send each customer a simple thank you card with the words ''I like you'' printed inside, along with his name. He believed that we’re all suckers for a little flattery. Believing in the power of a simple note, Guy then tumbles down a rabbit hole of letter writing and discovers that the process of writing and giving thanks actually opens himself up to being more thankful. This idea really captured my imagination, if giving thanks can make us more thankful then this was something I wanted to be involved in. I’m now on my own ‘crusade’ to find people to thank and send letters to.
Do you use any special stationery for your letter writing/ what's on your desk when you're writing?
I don’t own any personalised stationery… yet. But a nice sheet of heavyweight paper and, more importantly, a good pen makes the process all the more satisfactory. I was once told by a previous boss of mine that a pen is an extension of yourself. Whilst this may seem like a silly statement to some, I guarantee if you hand someone an awfully chewed-up biro, versus handing them an elegant fountain pen to sign some paperwork, you will get a very different reaction from this seemingly benign interaction.
Thanks Martyn! If you’re feeling inspired to write, why not get involved with our London Letters Club? We’re helping revive the art of hand-written correspondence in a small way and creating a community of letter-writers. Whether you're already a letter-writing lover or like the idea of it but can never seem to find the time, come and join us.
We hope to see you at a London Letters Club event soon.