There may be faster means of communicating, but letter writing is a lasting art that connects the heart and mind of the writer to the soul of the receiver. Or at least it can feel that way.
There are several reasons why someone might choose to write a handwritten letter to a friend:
- Personal touch: A handwritten letter can be a more personal and thoughtful way to communicate with a friend, as it shows that you took the time and effort to write everything out by hand.
- Emotional connection: Receiving a handwritten letter can help strengthen the emotional connection between friends, as it can feel more intimate and special than an easily disposable text or email.
- Holiday or special occasion: Send your friend a letter to let them know you are thinking of them during a time of celebration or sorrow.
- Keepsake: A handwritten letter can be a physical keepsake that a friend can hold onto and re-read, whereas a digital message can be easily deleted.
- Slow down: In a world where we are constantly connected and bombarded with notifications, a handwritten letter can be a way to slow down and take a more mindful approach to communication.
- Fun and enjoyable: Writing a handwritten letter can be a fun and enjoyable activity in and of itself, whether you are the one writing or receiving it. Share a silly anecdote or a favorite memory, or send them good news you know they will celebrate with you.
Leave quick correspondences that are time-sensitive and business-oriented to modern day communication and reserve handwritten letters as symbols of care and appreciation. Thank you notes for gifts, visits and interviews are a necessity as they show appreciation for the other person’s time spent with you. These letters are also an ideal format for reconnecting with relatives and friends or simply letting those who you love know you are thinking about them.
Key Takeaways for hand-writing a letter to a friend
The parts of your handwritten letter to a friend
Here are some tips for writing a letter to a friend:
Use a friendly salutation
Start the letter with a greeting such as “Dear [Friend’s Name]” or “Hi [Friend’s Name].”
Share something interesting about your recent activities
Share updates on your life and what you have been up to recently. Interesting tidbits are best, but don’t feel pressured to write something amazing. Sometimes people really do want to hear about the weather and which soup you made from scratch.
Share news and interesting stories
Talk about any interesting news or stories that you think your friend might enjoy.
Ask about your friend’s life
Show an interest in your friend’s life by asking about their recent activities and how they are doing.
Use a casual tone
Keep the tone of the letter friendly and informal. Avoid using formal language or structure. Spell correctly, though, and make sure your letter is legible.
Use a closing
End the letter with a friendly closing such as “Sincerely,” “Take care,” or “Best regards,” “See you soon!” “Love you forever!” followed by your name.
Mail the letter
Fold the letter into thirds, address your envelope, and send away!
Here is an example of the basics of a letter to a friend:
[Your Address (optional)] [Date] Dear [Friend's Name], I hope this letter finds you well. I'm writing to share some updates on my life and to catch up with you. Recently, I've been busy with work and trying to get back into a regular exercise routine. I've also been spending a lot of time with my family and trying out some new recipes in the kitchen. How have you been? What have you been up to lately? I'd love to hear about your recent activities and any interesting stories you have to share. Take care, [Your Name]
Things to think about when writing a letter:
- Get fancy but stay legible.
- Whether you write in cursive or block letters, your handwriting needs to be easily understood. My writing is tiny and I need to be mindful of the reader and make an effort to enlarge my writing.
- If you are ashamed of your handwriting, then practice what you want to say on scrap paper until you are satisfied with it. There is no shame in printing, too.
- Artwork and calligraphy can transform your thoughtful note into a cherished keepsake.
The Key to Letter Writing
Letters, handwritten letters in particular, are a way of showing someone you noticed:
- You caught them being kind to a little dog.
- You caught them doing the right thing when everyone else told them it was wrong.
- You noticed them when they thought no one was looking, and then you gave it permanence on the page and an acknowledgement from another living being.
- This is true even with letters that have angry or frustrated content, because you’re noticing that someone stopped noticing you or another person, or that they don’t notice their actions hurt somebody.
- With sympathy letters you’re noticing the life of the deceased and the grief of the person in mourning.
- In apology letters you’re noticing that you did someone wrong and are coming clean about it.
- With politically charged letters you notice that there is severe injustice going on.
To write effective letters, pay close attention. This, if nothing else, is the one thing we’re all doing here, trying to get ourselves noticed—even if it’s just by one other person. And this is why writing a letter can make you part of someone’s life forever.
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The Necessary Apology Letter to Your Girlfriend
Letters to My Best Friend: Examples of Love and Gratitude
BillieI like to climb mountains, read Nietzsche, and explore the West Coast. I have a BA from York University (2003) in Toronto, Canada, and yet on this site I sometimes spell like an American (know your audience). Thank you. Thank you very much.
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