To get in the habit of writing and sending letters I think it’s good to start small. And by small I mean short and simple. Once you do something enough and it starts to become a part of your routine then it becomes easier to do more.
One exception when first starting your writing routine is the celebration card. Whether it is a birthday, a wedding, or a holiday, this is a good time to really spend some time crafting what you want to say.
Special occasions should be treated as such. When you get a birthday card imagine which type of card you would prefer: a quick “Happy Birthday to you” or a longer letter describing what the card giver hopes for you for the next year. For birthdays I tend to write several sentences or even paragraphs.
Your friend will really appreciate it when you put thoughtfulness into times of their personal reflection.
Though most of your letters to your Pen Gal will most likely be a short, sweet note–especially in the beginning while you are forging your letter writing habit–sometimes it may not be enough space to write out everything you want to say. Getting a letter with a crazy story or a funny memory can be really fun!
It’s these types of letters that help you create a history that you can look back on in the years to come. They will tell the story of your friendship and also serve as a type of collaborative journaling of your and your friend’s life. Who knows, maybe one day these letters will be the key in understanding how people lived sometime in the future?
Some perfect examples of this is Van Gogh’s letters to himself and his brother, or Einstein’s love letters, or when women kept the love letters from their loved ones when they became soldiers and went off to war.
Before you write on your card or stationery I recommend sitting down and writing a draft or two before you write the final version. These drafts can even be on the computer if you write faster that way, but your letter should be handwritten.
Pro Tip: if you keep a copy of your letter with the letters you receive in return, you can start create your own little history (a friendship journal) of your friendship and relationship that you can look back on for years to come.
This week I will be writing a long letter to my mom (who also happens to be one of my best friends!). Who will you write to?