How to Write a Letter

A little guide to writing a letter. Since most of us probably haven't written one since our 8th Grade Penpals.


Who: 

Who should you write a letter to, you might ask? Well. Everyone. Your parents, your cousin(my cousin Cami and I wrote letters back and forth when we were little. It was so fun and cute of us), your neighbors or old neighbors, your friends who you usually text memes to, your favorite teacher or professor, your significant other, etc.

Really you could write a letter to anyone, as displayed by my extensive list above. All it takes is a want to connect with that person.

When:

Right now! No better present to do stuff in than the present you're sitting in. I just made that up. Didn't it feel profound and like you want to put it on a T-shirt, but not in like an obvious way right in the middle of the shirt but maybe off to one side or on a sleeve or something? I thought so.

What:

What to say? What to say? I'll give you a little outline you can follow. And if you don't like outlines you are probably a normal person but you should really learn to love outlines, they are friendly and make life less messy.

Start by saying why you decided to write this person a letter. Examples below.
  • I was just remembering when (insert recent experience) and it made me think of you. 
  • I (recent experience) and it made me think about how you (something they did or said or are that you admire)
  • I wanted to connect with you again and thought it would be fun to write you a letter!
  • I read this interesting woman's blog about how to write a letter and so I'm practicing on you. How's it going so far?
Continue your letter by updating them on 1-2 (or more if you know this person's attention span well) recent life events of yours. Here are some samples to get you started:
  • I was at the grocery store the other day and there were dark chocolate sea salt kombucha samples so I tried it and then ended up buying the rest of the store's stock. 
  • I went to the park the other day and it was so sunny and beautiful. There were kids playing there so carefree and happy. And then they started picking their noses and eating their boogers. Little kids are gross. 
  • I've decided to (something you've decided to start doing in your life). I think it's going well so far. I am excited about what could become of this venture I've decided to take on. 
  • Something sad or upsetting to you and how you are trying to get through it. 
Next you can ask some engaging questions about the person's life or thoughts or opinions or family or pets. Ask questions that allow for the person to respond with more than yes or no. This is not a 20 questions letter. Although that could be a fun format as well. Some examples below.
  • I saw that (insert thing you saw them post about on social media) and that looked so awesome! What was that experience like? Were you nervous/excited/scared?
  • Do you still (insert hobby or interest that you know this person has done)? How is it going? Have you learned a lot of new stuff regarding said hobby/interest?
  • How is (insert significant thing/person/pet)? I hope they are doing well. 
  • What are you looking forward to the next few weeks? 

Why:

It is so fun to get mail that isn't a credit card application or a Papa Murphy's coupon(I mean, these are pretty fun, I guess)! It also is pretty affirming to think that someone would sit down and take the time to write out more than a few sentences just for you. On the sender end of a letter, it is clarifying and rejuvenating to write out your thoughts and questions for someone.

I hope this helps you in your letter-writing endeavors and will inspire you to write at least one in the near future!