5 practical ideas for writing a letter or greeting card with a difference
In spite of all the Whatsup messages, Facebook alerts and Instagram pics, there is something very healing and transformative when it comes to old-fashioned card and letter writing. This practice benefits both the giver and the receiver and the art-form is being resurrected. The greeting cards and stationary industry is booming which is exciting and hopeful.
I love writing and receiving letters and cards. Choosing them, sitting down to write, posting them through the mail-box and imagining their arrival at the other end is a thrilling series of joy moments.
Have you ever sat down to write a letter or a greeting card only to find your mind went blank and you struggled to find the words? I sure have!
To help, I’d like to share five writing approaches that never fail me and which produce the sort of messages I’d be happy getting from my friends and family.
IDEA 1: What you mean to me message
We all enjoy hearing that our presence has a positive impact on someone else but too often we fail to convey it. We assume others know we love them or appreciate them but without finding a way to tell it, this information may only exist in our mind. Why not take a moment to tell someone in your life what they mean to you or just how much?
You can write a sentence, a paragraph or a longer letter on this topic. Be sure to use as many senses as possible so that the reader is not left puzzling out your meaning. Also keep in mind that people’s presence in your life can take on a different meaning over time so being on the same page with someone and having that appreciation and relevance is massive for your connection.
IDEA 2: Reconnecting by sharing what you’ve been up to
With everyone being busy doing so much or little, it is often a challenge to keep updated on what’s been happening in other people’s lives and how this impacts and shapes who we are. Sitting down to write someone a short note about how you are is a great way of letting them know they matter. Ensure you give the other person a clear sense of what’s been happening, how you’re feeling and why you’re sharing this with them. This form of writing can be massively illuminating in terms of helping you make sense of things, clarify the importance of something or get in touch with your true feelings about something. What’s great about it for the other person is that in addition to learning about you, it will also invite them into a natural reflection on their activities, thoughts and feelings as much as your relationship.
IDEA 3: Saw this card and it made me think of you!
There are times when our wise intuition steps in and we find ourselves getting a greeting card or postcard with a specific person in mind. What often works well in such circumstances is giving the receiver a small bit of context about how you’ve happened to find the card followed by explaining the card’s significance. For example if it’s a specific image or a painting tell the reader about the specific association you made between it and him or her. Some of the best cards will do this with their art and slogans but don’t assume this alone will be as obvious to someone else as it is to you. I remember once being sent a card with a dog on the cover. To the sender the dog was cute but what I perceived in the way the dog was drawn was anxiety and doubt. We all see the world through our unique minds, memories and filters. Some of us may see things as they are while others will abstract from what is and imagine something completely different. If you doubt my words consider for a moment the thoughts, feelings and sensations that the word dog or a picture of a dog brings up for you. If you’ve very visual notice what sort of dog you saw in your mind’s eye. Language helps us bridge minds and states but it is only a code. One of the things I love about these shares is that they help reveal a new perspective on things, how others view us and also how we see them.
IDEA 4: Sending wisdom or inspiration
Most of us will enjoy receiving a note or a greeting card that reminds us of something important. I love powerful affirmations or positive reminders that empower me to think and feel better. These messages can often be incredibly uncanny in terms of their perfect timing. Trust your instinct but instead of texting someone or sending an e-mail, write a card. You can write a quote, copy a poem, or tell a story that’s made you reflect or learn something you believe will also enrich the other person. Remember not to preach but rather adopt a casual tone along the lines of “I came across this, found it powerful, and thought you may also…”
IDEA 5: Invitation
Relationships need a glue which is often time shared. Some of the best cards invite us into future experiences and fun together or help us mark important moments in our lives. They could be marking special occasions, celebrating the past or creating the future. Recalling one of your favorite times together in the past, pointing out what made it special/fun/great for you and make a proposal for something in the future is a great way of cementing your connection. This sort of card can often end with an acknowledgement of how you feel and/or what you need or desire; for example “I’d love to see you!” or “Let’s make time to catch up and explore the new Indian restaurant.” I recommend following this up with other forms of technology such as a call, text or e-mail so that the intention converts to a plan of action.
Cards and letters take time but they also deliver great deal of pleasure.
“Life is bearable when you have someone to write, and someone who writes you back. Even if it’s just one person.”