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The Art Of The Handwritten Note

The Art Of The Handwritten Note

In this era of text and email being used for even the most sensitive of moments (eeeek), there is nothing like receiving a real card in the mail, or finding one atop your desk or pillow.

A great card makes it clear someone stopped their world and took notice of you - and that they also set aside any rusting writing skills and related apprehension to make it happen. ; )

Big thanks to the amazing Hannah Davis of WFAA-ABC in Dallas for inspiring me to create this list in preparation for an interview with her recently. What an honor it was to spend time with Hannah - and a blast!

I hope the following six tips for a memorable handwritten note help you more confidently select a card, grab a pen and stamp and make someone's day today. : )

1 - Pick a card that innately appeals to you - one you’re drawn to, and you feel will resonate with that person. Trust your gut, and don’t second guess once you have a card in your hands. Grab a pen you like to write with, a stamp, and get busy. The Postal Service will take care of the rest! : )

2 - Be specific in your praise and/or words of affection. If you’re writing a thank you note, mention something in particular that you loved about the event you attended, someone’s thoughtfulness, or, for instance, how you were feeling before their gift arrived, and how you felt afterwards.
If it’s a note for a love or a good friend, share something specific you adore about that person, miss about them if you haven’t seen them in a while, or want to do one day as an adventure with them. Use your words to immortalize memories, and build dreams for new ones.

"I love you" is important to say, if that’s how you feel - just add some specifics to it to ensure your note connects with their heart. It’s easy in this age of social media to remain on a surface level with the people you care about most. Emojis are helpful and fun in quick text messages, but they will never replace the heart-moving power of a hand-written note that’s specific about how a person makes you feel. Or dream. 

Write about the difference they make in your life, or have in an important moment. Write as you would speak if they were in front of you. If you could hug them right now, what would you say? Use capital letters if you want to. Underline special words or points. Feel free to draw or doodle. Give the recipient the emotional experience they would have with you in person. It can be felt across the miles!

There are occasions in which it’s perfectly fine to reel it in - here are some examples:

A - A thank you note for a job interview: it’s appropriate to be brief, while sharing what you learned that was helpful or interesting, and what you appreciate about the person, or time you spent with them. 

B - If you’re going through something really difficult, such as the death of a loved one, and you can’t get out more than ‘thank you for the flowers, they were so beautiful,’ that’s OK, and will still be so appreciated. 

3 - The attractiveness of your handwriting is completely insignificantYour quirky, less-than-perfect penmanship will be cherished, rather than criticized - I promise! As humans, we love seeing one another’s handwriting inside a card (vs. a font) - most of all, because it represents the time someone took time to select something for you, express themselves to you and mail it - all for your benefit, and out of their desire to connect with and appreciate you. Chicken scratch handwriting is the best, most courageous and keepable of all!  Remember that in this age, natural imperfections are where it’s at.

4 - Apology notes are important and move mountainsWe all make mistakes. It’s how we treat those mistakes and the person we’ve offended that often determine the course of our relationship for the long term. Take the time to send a note written in your own hand. They will never forget it, and your note can be the best healing balm for a difficult situation of any kind.
We once had a male customer come in who had done something that deeply offended his girlfriend. He was genuinely sorry, and bought seven or eight apology cards. That’s a fun customer to work with - not because of their spend, but the sincerity of a contrite heart, and his determination to make things right.

5 - Avoid devaluing your role in someone’s lifeYou might be thinking, “Oh, they’d rather hear this encouragement from so-and-so.” Or, "I’m sure their parents tell them this wonderful thing I see in them all the time!” They aren’t hearing it from those other people, for whatever reason. Which is why it’s on your heart to share it! : ) 
Listen to that voice, pick up a pen, trust the timing and change a life. Give the person on your heart something they can hold onto forever, and remember that how it looks doesn’t matter. You noticing them, telling them how they make a difference and the impact it has - that’s what changes the world, one person at a time. Cards are one important way we reverse evil and can create a tidal wave of powerful love.

6 - Remember finding a REAL card in the mail is excruciatingly exciting for both men and women - particularly when it’s not your birthdayso send cards for no calendared reason, other than your affection, admiration or appreciation for someone!


Melinda Jones
Founder + Creative Director
Read Between The Lines®

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