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Ten On Tuesday

In solidarity with my friends who have been writing letters all month, today’s Ten on Tuesday topic is: 10 Tips for Writing a Great Letter. Let’s begin.

  1. Use pretty stationary.
  2. Stick with dark blue or black ink only. When I was a kid I liked to match ink color to stationary color but now that my eyes are a bit, errr, older, I find it much easier to read blue or black ink.
  3. Know your recipient. Obviously you know them, you are writing to them. What I mean is to know them in a way that will make your letter interesting to them.
  4. Make it legible. The idea behind a month of letters is to write a handwritten piece but if your handwriting is really bad you could always type something up and then print it out using a font that looks like handwriting – there are plenty of great ones out there.
  5. Ask relevant questions. My letter from Kathy included a bunch of questions from her son. They were cute and funny and they gave me a reason to write back since I wanted to answer them for him.
  6. Be caring. Tell them how much their friendship means to you.
  7. Write about a memory of a time you were together. Reminiscing is always a good topic.
  8. Include details about where you are. Your setting is important and it helps your friend to picture you while you were writing the letter.
  9. Tell them about something you are doing. Margene told me about some gardening plans that she has and it made me feel like I was part of her daily life.
  10. Ignore numbers one through nine and just be yourself. You are writing a letter to a good friend and they will be thrilled to hear from you and that’s really all that matters.
P.S. JessaLu is having a blogiversary contest. Tell her Carole sent you!

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. that’s a great list – mine is very similar (no surprise!) – I’m glad we’re keeping the art of letter-writing alive!

  2. I can’t help but remember the penpal letters I would send to England. It was such fun! Then there were the child hood friends who moved away. We kept in touch for many years through letters. Now it’s facebook 🙂

  3. I’ve enjoyed the daily writing exercise as it has forced me to look at my life and figure out how to share it with friends. I’ve also connected with friends and family I haven’t spent much time with in years. Good tips, Carole!

  4. I think your last tip is most important. When I write (not as much as I did before email), people say, “You write like you talk.” Well, I’m the same person. I think my business writing sounds pretty much like my business speaking too – more formal, and often more spare. Just the facts, ma’am.

  5. Nice post Carole. I think having a special stack of cards or writing paper very handy is a good motivator to keep up the practice.

  6. When I was a teenager I had all kinds of stationery and colored pens. I still have some of it in my bedroom. I really should pull some of it out and do some writing.

  7. I type all but my thank you cards anymore. I have fairly nice penmanship, but I’ve become more comfortable composing on the computer; I hand-wrote my Master’s thesis and could not conceive composing on a computer. My, have times changed! I love finding the perfect card to accompany my missive.

  8. Great topic and suggestions. I love to send cards and have quite a stockpile (hoarder!). A photographer friend makes wonderful cards and my friends and family love them, and some they’ve even framed. It’s uncanny how some of them are such a perfect fit for a certain person or special occasion. I love supporting an artisan friend too!

  9. Great list. I really enjoyed all your suggestions. Most of the actual letters I write go to my girls at camp and there are a whole ‘nother set of rules for that.

  10. I haven’t written letters in a long time. I used to have a number of pen pals in foreign countries, and I loved coming up with interesting things to add to my packages.

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