We are often asked what the secret is to writing a great personal letter. It seems that it’s a bit of a lost art, now that we mainly spend our days communicating in shorthand form, via social media, text messaging and WhatsApp. The reality is that we must never forget the power of a handwritten letter and why we should all learn to master the skill of crafting a good one. You won’t be surprised to hear that there is an art to it! But it’s not one that’s hard to master, if you follow these simple rules.
Letter Writing - First Impressions Count:
Firstly, we suggest using quality personal stationery. This is because writing a good letter is not the time to break out the cheap notebook paper! Use the best you can afford, as this will make your letter more memorable and be seen as even more special by the person receiving it. Personal stationery is a reflection of your taste and style, so it’s important to choose something that looks and feel premium. View it as an investment, one you can’t go wrong with; after all, it’s better to be associated with beautiful luxury stationery, than with something poor quality!
However, with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to try to select the perfect personalised stationery set. So, these are the things you should consider, before choosing designs that you feel are a good reflection of you; ones that are perfect for a myriad of functions, from writing thank-you notes, to sending condolences, birthday and other special messages:
- Paper quality can make a huge difference in the overall look and feel of your paper or notecards. The heavier weight paper has a more premium feel, whilst a lighter weight may look more casual.
- Think about the printing. If you want your stationery to look really professional, consider investing in thermography or engraving. These printing techniques will give correspondence cards or headed paper, a polished look that is sure to impress.
- Choose a unique style. There are literally thousands of different styles of personal stationery available – from paper colour, paper weight to font to be used for personalisation, so take some time to browse through all of the options before making your final decision. You might also consider choosing a set that has a unique design, or that is made from unusual materials.
- Think about the cost. Luxury personal stationery can be quite expensive, so it's important to set a budget before shopping. By knowing how much you're willing to spend, you can narrow down your search and focus on finding the perfect set of smart, personalised cards, within your price range. Quality stationery does not have to cost the earth!
Your Handwriting Matters:
Good letters or personalised notecards are never typed! They are always handwritten, as it gives them a far more personal and intimate feel. The most important thing to remember is that your letter must be easy to read, which means the writing needs to be good. This is not the time for chicken scratching across the paper! If it’s been a while since you’ve written anything by hand, then there are a few key things to keep in mind, so that you can do the best possible job.
- First, make sure you have the right tools. A good pen that feels comfortable in your hand will make a big difference and it will also glide across the page better.
- Secondly, and most importantly, take your time. There is no delete button on a personal letter, so don't try to rush through your writing. Instead, focus on each letter and try to make it as clean and neat as possible. An illegible letter with ink blots and crossings out will never look very impressive.
- Finally, if you really want to master perfect handwriting, practice regularly. The more you write, the better your handwriting will become.
Personal and Positive:
A personal letter should be just that, personal. When you’ve gone to the trouble of putting pen to paper it would be a shame to write something bland and generic! That’s just lazy and the result is a letter that’s instantly forgettable. You might just as well have sat down and sent an email.
- We suggest writing about things, people, situations, you know will interest the person you’re writing to. This could be mentioning something you have in common, or that you have been meaning to talk to them about. It could also be reminiscing about a mutual memory, or sharing a new experience. Remember, you don’t need to write an essay, it just needs to be engaging and interesting.
- Keep it positive. No one wants to read a depressing letter! So, make sure your tone is positive and upbeat, even if you’re writing about a difficult subject. Your goal is to make the person reading your letter feel good, so focus on the positive aspects of whatever you’re discussing.
- Show interest in the receiver of the letter. Ask them how they are doing, and genuinely express interest in hearing about their life and experiences.
- Finally, end on an optimistic note. Finish by expressing your hope to see or speak with them soon, or send your best wishes for their future endeavours.
Choosing your perfect paper, perfecting your handwriting and planning your letter outline are just a few important points to consider before you can write a great personal letter; one that will be sure to please the recipient. Although, never forget, practice makes perfect – so get that paper and pen out and start writing!