X’s and O’s: The power of the written word

Natalie Juteau

Hello again, CSU. It has been another beautiful weekend. I went on a hike Saturday that was absolutely refreshing. I’m loving the fact that the mild weather has allowed all of the leaves to stay on the trees for this long. I love fall!

On my hike yesterday I got to talking to my friend about writing. He enjoys the written word as well, so we had a lot to talk about. It got me to thinking about the power that writing possesses, and more specifically, the power it has to bring people together.


Take this blog for example. Very few of you know me in person, but these words bring us together. Whether this is the first time you’ve read my blog or the fifteenth time you’ve read it, you know more about me than you would otherwise. You may know that I am a horseback riding enthusiast or that I’m a loyal participant in NaNoWriMo, and you’ve learned all of this through only my written word.

Source: marymagdalen.blogspot.com

I’m a lover of hand written notes, and when I was younger I had numerous pen pals to whom I wrote many long-hand letters. The feeling of ripping open an envelope and seeing the ink or lead that my pen pal used to put their thoughts onto the page was thrilling. I could literally see the effort they put into writing to me. Sometimes they drew me pictures, sometimes they wrote me multiple letters, and sometimes they signed their letters with X’s and O’s. I still have some of these letters, and reading them still makes me smile. It took time and effort to write those letters, and above all else, I think it took love.

I still write letters, even if the person to whom it is addressed never receives it. Why do I do this? Because writing to someone, whether or not they read it, makes me feel closer to them. I choose my words carefully and I try to make my penmanship as beautiful as I can. I write slowly and deliberately, and my whole self is poured into that letter. I could never put the same amount of love into an email or a text. It will never be the same.

My advice to you is to sit down and write something for someone today. Whether it is a funny note to your roommate, a love letter for your significant other, or a thank you note addressed to someone you care about or who has helped you along the way, write something to someone, share the love, and bring yourself closer to those that you care about the most. The written word can do some amazing things.

See you on campus, CSU.