Here are my 10 things:
- Get a really nice pen. One that feels good in your hand and glides across the page. Pick one with the color you like best. Gel pens come in all sorts of lovely colors. I prefer black ink. Always. Find your signature color and stock up.
- Get some nice paper. Nice does not mean expensive. You can use lightweight airmail paper, kraft paper, bond paper, whatever you like. Buy or Create your own monogrammed stationery.
- Get some scrap paper.
- Set the mood. Find the time of day that feels relaxed to you. Find the chair that you love to sit in. Light a candle, make a cup of tea, open a window, whatever you find relaxing.
- Set your timer for 20 minutes. You can get a lot done in 20 minutes. Spending only 20 minutes takes the pressure off and kills the excuse that you don’t have time.
- Organize your thoughts by making a list of things you want to say or create an outline using your very nice pen on your scrap paper. Stop when the timer sounds…or if you are getting into the process, continue. If you are continuing or when you begin again, set your timer for 20 minutes.
- Compose your first draft using your notes. Yes, I said first draft. You need to be clear about your intentions and message. Unless your letter is terribly long, 20 minutes is adequate. Stop when the timer sounds…or finish your first draft. Put your letter in a drawer. Let it simmer for at least 24 hours.
- When you start your next session, be mindful of your surroundings and mood as in step 4. Review your draft. Edit to eliminate unnecessary thoughts, rearrange paragraphs to make better sense or read better.
- When you are satisfied, break out the good stuff and copy what you have written. Sign and seal.
- Mail your letter. If you are following this blog about writing a letter to someone you missed saying something to, you will send it to:
PO Box 281
Morristown, NJ 07963
and your letter will become part of a healing art project that will carry forth the good intentions of the letter writers. Want to know more? Visit www.nevertoldu.com
I promised you more:
Be straightforward. Use simple sentences. Write how you speak. It’s not that hard. Don’t write mean things.
I absolutely cannot stand to hear people say they don’t write (even a thank you note) because they are ashamed of their handwriting. Your handwriting is kind of like your fingerprint. It’s part of you. Please, get over it. Nobody cares, unless they can’t read it. In that case, type your letter. Choose a font you like, choose a color you like. Follow all the steps, but do sign it with that special pen. And mail it. Email is for when you really don’t care to send your very best.
I shared this link before but I’ll share it again. These greats didn’t let inhibitions or handwriting (or paper choice!) get in their way.
Sharing is nice. Please share this blog with someone you know who struggles with writing letters (or who actually would like to write one), or whom you think might love to be part of a collaborative healing art project. Follow the project on Facebook. Your comments are always welcome.