In the last few weeks I have received some handwritten cards and messages that have touched me very much. Isn’t it crazy that in times when we communicate all the time and on various channels, such an outdated form as a personal letter suddenly takes on a whole new meaning?
Let’s talk about letter writing. What makes it so special? And what letters you should have written at least once in your life?
What makes a letter so special
A letter is almost like personally knocking on someone’s door.
You can send emails, direct messages, or voice messages (but why anyone would want to do the latter has eluded me to this day). Nothing comes close to the meaning of a real letter. Why is that?
A letter has weight. You always send appreciation along, whether you are aware of it or not. When you open a letter, you know that someone has taken the time to write by hand – which is a lot slower. On paper – that you can touch. And sent it all in the mail – which costs postage.
You choose your words wisely , Think about what you actually want to express. You formulate more consciously because you write more slowly by hand.
You rarely get a personal letter. And Rare things are always precious .
For the recipient, reading it will be Much more personal, because you’re sending far more than just textual information. Your handwriting says just as much – and maybe the stationery also gives additional clues to the sender. A good letter, when read, creates the feeling of actually hearing the voice of the sender.
And you have Something to touch . A letter is not fleeting like a series of WhatsApp messages or emails. Quickly read, quickly deleted. The letter is more real, you can read it again and again, hold it in your hand. And years later it has become a witness of time, a memory you can rediscover.
7 letters you should write at least once in your life
Okay, letters are special. But what do you write?
Here are 7 ideas you can try out. But beware: not all of them are meant to be sent off.
A love letter
I think everyone should have written a love letter at some point in their life.
There’s a stack of letters from when the husband and I were in a long-distance relationship. This started as a spur of the moment idea (we both like things that are a bit old fashioned) and today I’m really glad we have these special mementos "from back in the day". It’s so much nicer than a stack of printed emails.
Pro-tip: You can still write love letters after years of a relationship. Maybe they’ll have an even greater impact than they did at the beginning.
A letter of anger
You’ve had someone give you a bad time? The world is unfair and XYZ is the biggest flat-earther under the sun? Let it out. Write a peppery letter when you’re seething inside and slam all the things you’ve always wanted to say at the person’s head. Let off some steam!
Now the most important part: don’t send! Never. Under no circumstances. Burn it, bury it or tear it up. If you are still angry the next day, write a new letter and try to clarify the whole thing objectively.
A letter to someone who has left their mark on you
Maybe you have heard this sentence before: I would have loved to tell him/her how much he/she means to me ..
I decided at some point that I never want to have to say this phrase and rather wear my heart on my sleeve.
But because it’s not always easy to put into words how much and why you appreciate someone, writing them down is a good way to do it. The older I get, the more I can understand and appreciate how much good I have been given in my life.
Writing such a letter makes incredibly grateful. And know it’s a treasure to the recipient.
An encouragement letter
Everyone goes through hard times and droughts. A card, a handwritten greeting, a little note that cheers and encourages are so, so beneficial!
A "legacy letter" to someone who takes after you
I don’t feel nearly old and experienced enough to write a "legacy" letter, but I definitely want to do it later on. Important experiences you’ve had in life, life lessons that really carried when it mattered most. Realizations that have become valuable to me. Whether that will be a short or long letter, I guess remains to be seen.
Birthday cards are great. But congratulations on less obvious occasions are nice too. A goal achieved, a new stage in life, something that has really succeeded. And yes, actually, the congratulations could turn into just a written compliment as well.
A letter to your future self
Almost as good as time travel: Write a letter to the person you want to be when you grow up. "Later" can be in one year or in 10 years – you choose the time period.
Imagine how you are then or want to be and write to this person. Tell us what life is like right now. What’s on your mind, what your plans, goals and dreams are, what you want for your future.
Seal the letter and write the date on it when you want to open it and read it. Now all you need is a place to keep it in the meantime.
By the way, this is also a nice idea for birthdays or the turn of the year. It’s best to start with a letter you can open in a year’s time. And leave a note in your diary so you don’t forget it.
And you? What kind of letter did you write last? Or is there a form that you would like to know more about?? Write it in the comments.