Two Tips for Better Letters
I have really worked to change how I write notes and letters over the past year. More often than ever before I even get an email (totally fine!) back telling me how much my words meant to them. With such good feedback, I wanted to share what I’ve been doing differently.
It started just over a year ago when a favorite aunt of mine was given a terminal diagnosis. If you know the Love365 story, you may have heard a little about this already. My aunt was adamant about no one coming to visit her at first. I had time to drop everything and run down for a visit but she didn’t want that so the only thing I knew to do was to send cards. Now, when I say, send a card, it is a card but I write a letter inside of it. I look for blank cards so I have plenty of space. The issue was I knew I would be sending several cards over the next 2-3 months…. What would I say? What could I write to her about?
I made myself TWO rules.
Rule #1: Do not mention the weather. Unless there is a major storm of some sort, do not mention the weather.
Seems easy enough right? Not quite… starting letters without saying “Hope you’re doing well and enjoying the fall so far” or something equally as generic is harder than it sounds. I’m a big reader so I took a tip from my books and instead I try to start my notes like we’re already right in the middle of a conversation. I just jump right in! Think about the letter you want to write, delete the first two, maybe three sentences and start from there.
Rule #2: Tell him or her something they don’t know.
This has been a game changer! This one is also a little tough because it will likely require more of you, the real you. To do this you have to open up and be more honest than may feel natural to you. BUT, it will be so much more meaningful. I promise. It will be the difference in a card going into the trash vs. tucked into a drawer for safe keeping.
So, what do I mean by this? I don’t know about you but I often look at most other people and think, wow, they are so much fun, they have it together, or she’s hilarious (wish I could be funnier), how does that person stay so organized, where does he/she find the time?? I have a feeling I’m not the only one. The bigger mistake we make is assuming that person KNOWS they are so good at this or that, but maybe they don’t. Or maybe they know that’s their gift but don’t feel appreciated for it. You can do that.
Here are some prompts to think about when writing your next card/letter:
- What reminds you of this person? What made you think of them today?
- What trait do they have that makes you smile, laugh out loud, or makes you excited to see them?
- What’s something they’ve done or said to you that really meant a lot?
- Are you proud of them? Impressed by them? Maybe even envious? Say it, celebrate it!
I’ve used these two little strategies for several months now and have been shocked by the responses I’ve received from both friends and family. They are so appreciative and often will write back quickly to tell me so.
In short, just show your gratitude and thankfulness for them and I guarantee you it won’t soon be forgotten. Drop us a note and let us know how these tips work out for you!