The Power of the Written Note
by Julie Peterson
Birthdays, weddings, holidays and other momentous occasions have long been celebrated with cards and letters. The rise of emailing, texting and social media has made writing letters a forgotten treasure as many of us have instead come to use quick but fleeting messages via technology. Perhaps it’s time to bring back the nostalgia, the handwriting and a box full of stationery for all occasions. A handwritten note ensures someone will know we took the time to think, write and send.
Here’s how to get started.
Nothing inspires writing notes more than a box or drawer full of inviting cards and paper. Cards that are blank inside are multi-purpose. Stickers and beautiful postage stamps can make an envelope look like a gift. Get a few good pens in a variety of colors and start writing.
After receiving a gift or an act of kindness, send a thank-you card or letter. Do it soon after the event, so that the memory is fresh and the note will contain specifics. But even if it’s for something that took place farther in the past, “better late than never” certainly applies.
Don’t get stuck when pen hits paper, just imagine what would be said out loud and write those words. Our words won’t sound like the poem in a store-bought card, but words from the heart are better because they are personal and likely more meaningful to the recipient. The reader will hear the writer’s voice in the note. Be honest and sincere.
Write and Repeat
Make writing a habit by sending three notes each week. If nothing spurs a thank-you, then send a card just to say hello or give appreciation. Perhaps it’s a “remember when” or an “I miss you” note. Browse through contact lists to get inspiration. If nobody strikes a chord for a note, write a self-praise letter. Be sure to list your best and most lovable qualities and put it in the mail. It will be a nice warm-fuzzy surprise when it arrives. These kinds of letters and cards are like loving hugs. For some, a sweet note via mail or tucked somewhere to be discovered may be a much needed joyful spark.