Many a times you find yourself overcome by a strong urge to communicate. However, whether such an urge actually gets translated into a heartfelt letter or not remains a matter of conjecture owing largely to the fading practices of yore. For example, when was the last time you wrote a personal letter, from the heart, with soul and passion, with affection and joy, brimming with emotion? When was the last time you actually either seriously managed to put pen down on paper to jot down your deepest feelings and fondest thoughts or make it a point to click away furiously at your keyboard so that modern technology could transport those sentiments instantly by e-mail across to those whom they were meant for before you could say Jack Robinson? Let us try to recapture in brief the simple pleasure of writing personal letters.
Personal Letter Writing Tips
Writing a personal letter, or writing letters of most kind for that matter, except those of an official nature, has almost become a forgotten human pursuit, a lost art at best! Writing a good personal letter is not rocket science. On the contrary, it is more about the little everyday things of life that matter like a day at the college or at a new job, or your child’s first day at school, or a congratulatory letter to a relative on his/her latest accomplishment. Almost all of personal letter writing seems to have one feature in common: a shared personal bond between the writer and its recipient!
Set One Day Aside For Personal Letter Writing
Since personal letters are rarely of a pressing nature, it is imperative for those interested to specially set aside at least one day every week or fortnight as per one’s need, for the exclusive activity of writing personal letters, be they of the postal or the e-mail variety. As it is, most of us would not have to write more than two responses every week in the current scenario of busy lives and few precious relationships. And if we do not discipline ourselves into such a routine, nothing may ever compel us enough to make such a dedicated effort for all its worth.
Keep Making Notes
Carry a small notepad handy with you almost always and everywhere you go, so that you can catch a fleeting thought or feeling that will make your personal letter special. Always jot down important points you don’t want to miss mentioning in your personal letter/s, because sweet or touching memories can come flooding with little or no warning .
Avoid Form Letters As Far As Possible
Neither circumstances nor common sense allows us to write to everyone personally on certain important occasions, barring a select few. So if you must write a form letter, take extra care to make it sound universally personalized, with care taken to appropriately address it to each of its recipients, in a hand-written kind of print.
Keep It Current And Reasonably Detailed
Keep the personal letter current, pleasant, and genuine and it will automatically exude warmth. A good personal letter need not be long. Delve into little details to show a sense of closeness and attachment. Make sincere enquiries regarding health and well-being, and be sure to answer questions asked in their letters to the best of your capacity, asking some of your own along the way.
Be Informal Yet Thoughtful
Starting the letter off with the usual ‘Dear’ address is as good a way to begin as any, if the relationship with the recipient allows for that. The important thing is to greet the person as you would in person. Use a well-chosen letter writing paper, and write legibly and lucidly. One thing that may never change and is therefore going to remain almost eternally important is the date of the letter! Never forget to date the letter, as it bears a stamp of nostalgic references when re-read much later. If need be, enclose photographs and/or cards, and if it is children you are writing to, make special mention about upcoming or recently celebrated birthdays, school matters, vacation activities and the like. Also, take that extra effort to enclose easy to send knick-knacks like stickers or bookmarks that thrills kids no end.
Letters Of Praise Or Sympathy
If it is a congratulatory letter or a letter of encouragement, it must be particularly accurate in the details about the event or challenge mentioned. Maintain an encouraging tone and share words of inspiration or wisdom. In the case of a condolence letter, devote a few lines exclusively to the person you are condoling, and use a soothing tone throughout to convey your support. Personal letters dealing with a sensitive topic may or may not be closed on a light note depending on the magnitude of seriousness of the subject and the nature of the relationship with the recipient.
Writing personal letters can be a fun and fulfilling exercise if we remember to make it sound as normal and friendly as our rapport with its recipient, by including the usual elements of humor, advice, sympathy, or praise, as the occasion demands.