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Women's Lifestyle Magazine

Resolve to Write: Tips to Writing the Perfect Card or Note

Jan 14, 2014 11:29PM ● By vickiup
Card and letter writing is personal, timeless and thoughtful. In your heart, you wanted to send a thank you note or a birthday card but so many times, you never got around to it. Not sure what sentiment to write? Here are a few ideas:

CARDS and NOTES Notes of appreciation: Whether the recipient gave you a gift, hosted you for dinner or did a special favor, keep the message brief and sincere. Don’t ever hesitate to send a note of appreciation just to let someone know how truly special they are. Unexpected notes are always wonderful to receive.

Birthday cards: Celebrate one’s personal accomplishments in the past year and any special events planned in the next year ahead. End by telling your friend or loved one a reason he or she is so important to you.

Celebratory cards: When acknowledging the birth of a baby or the recent wedding of a friend or relative, pick a card they will want to save and treasure for years to come. When writing your sentiment inside, keep congratulations simple and let them know you share in their joy.

New job: Starting a job at a new company or changing one’s career path can be a time for renewal and exciting beginnings. A sincere message with a few words of advice that he or she might find helpful is often a welcome message to show someone you care.

Condolence cards: If a friend is going through a difficult time, share special memories you have of the person who passed away and express that you will miss having that person in your life. End by offering to call or visit in the near future. These gestures, plus the card itself, will remind the recipient they aren’t alone in their grief.

Think about writing letters or notes as an addition to or in replacement of purchased greeting cards. This way you can customize the sentiments for special occasions and make the gift of your words more meaningful.

LETTERS Letters are more personal than e-mail or Twitter can ever be. A handwritten note says that you care about the person to whom the letter is addressed and about what you are saying because you spent a little more time composing your thoughts with pen and paper.

Ready to write the perfect letter?

• Decide what you want to say to this person. Is it pressing news or do you simply desire to catch up?

• Choose your stationery. The stationery you choose will indicate the tone of the letter. A casual note could be on a fun printed paper. A more serious conversation could be on linen paper.

• You don’t write letters everyday, so think of it as an event rather than a chore. This way you’ll enjoy the process that much more.

• Practice your penmanship beforehand. Chances are, reliance on a computer or other electronics has resulted in penmanship skills faltering. After all, aside from signing checks or digital signature readers at retail stores, when do you actually have to put pen to paper anymore these days? Grab a piece of lined paper and practice writing a few sentences. Similar to riding a bicycle, with practice penmanship will come back to you.

• Think of the letter as a conversation. Start with an icebreaker or a comment that will eventually pave the way for the “meat” of your letter. Don’t over-plan the letter, otherwise it may seem forced (remember, writing is an art form and should be treated as such).

• Personalize the letter by involving the recipient in the letter-writing process. Don’t make it all about yourself. Ask questions, recall moments you spent together and touch upon topics you know this person will enjoy.

• Finish the letter with something special. Perhaps it is a quote you love or a sentiment from your heart.

Regardless of how many electronic words we get bombarded with each day, the personal touch of a message written by hand remains a special gesture that never goes out of style.

“The discovery of a brightly colored, hand-addressed envelope in the mail continues to delight people of all ages‚” says Patti Stracher, executive vice president of the Greeting Card Association.

From choosing a card or stationary that reflects a personal style to accenting the letter with the right seal or stamp, every detail matters to underscore a thoughtful message. Stamps are often one of the first details noted by a letter recipient, so choosing a stamp such as the Sealed with Love Forever could be perfect for the occasion.

Remember, cards and notes are about letting another person know how much their friendship, gifts or presence means to you. Follow a simple formula, add a few personal touches and you will soon be writing cards with ease.