Tuesday, February 21, 2012

10 tips for writing a great letter.

...what a timely prompt for those of us participating in a month of letters - thanks, carole!
97:365 a good letter.
this morning's letters with their pretty stamps (#1) matched to their recipients (#3), and dated (#9)
1. use pretty stamps. I am obsessed with stamps and recently discovered I could order them on-line and have them delivered to my mailbox for about a dollar. the selection is extensive and not having to visit the post office is a treat!

2. use pretty paper. another obsession. I have boxes of cards and postcards and always try to add a few to my "collection" when I travel.

3. match the paper to the occasion. if possible - and given my extensive collection it often is! - I try to match the paper (and the stamp :-) to the person and/or the message in my letter.

4. write, meaning no typing. my handwriting is borderline illegible. and some days I cross that border - my mom returned a snippet of a letter I wrote to her with a word circled and "what does this say?" written in the margin - oops! but oh well, my handwriting is part of me. (I will break this rule if I have a confined space to send a specific message because typing does fit more words on the page!)

5. use your own voice. I correspond with a few people I've never met in person - but from reading my letters, I think they know what I sound like.

6. don't share "old news". (at least not on purpose.) for me that means I don't put into a letter something that I've posted on my blog.

7. be personal. I want the person reading the letter to know it was meant for her (or him) specifically.

8. be kind, necessary and true. once that letter lands in the mailbox there is no taking it back. words that are kind, necessary and true won't come back to bite you.

9. include the date. I think timing is an essential part of the context of the message. I'll often include the time of day, as well ("monday morning" or "sunday evening").

10. mail it. a letter isn't really a letter unless it ends up in someone's mailbox. and that can't happen if you don't mail it!

click here to join the ten on tuesday fun!

5 comments:

  1. Excellent list - especially that part about mailing it! Sometimes that's the hardest part for me to do.

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  2. Lovely list. I think the handwritten part is what makes it so special and as most of us constantly type these days our handwriting isn't practiced the same as it used to be.

    I love the post link too btw. Thanks!

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  3. Excellent list! I cracked up at your mother's returning the snippet for clarification!

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  4. I love papers and post cards and have a good-sized collection. I worry that the internet and $$$ problems at the post office will eliminate the need for pretty/interesting stationery!

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  5. Great list...it so you and true, every point! I know from experience ;-)). Thoroughly enjoyed this post.
    Cheers~

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Thanks for the feedback!