ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

With Sincerest Regards: Additional Advice About Writing Personal Letters

Updated on December 20, 2015
Interesting settings can inspire fun, creative letters.
Interesting settings can inspire fun, creative letters. | Source
Source
Source

For those who have already mastered the basics of writing personal letters, there is ample room to explore and better enjoy this pastime. For what I hope are obvious reasons, not every suggestion will appeal to everyone. Nonetheless, hopefully you’ll find at least one or two of these suggestions worthwhile.

The first and most obvious suggestion is to look at writing letters as play and not drudgery. A personal letter is not the same thing as a thank you note or a condolence letter. It is not written to say “Thank you for the wedding gift. We love our new dishes.” or “I am sorry you lost your father to cancer. Please let me know if there is anything I can do.” Instead, a personal letter should be penned because you had a thought or idea to share and you decided that your college friend Janine would love to hear it. Or, due to circumstances outside of your control, you live far from your loved ones and one way for you to stay connected is by exchanging letters.

If you are able to think about writing letters as a form of play and creative expression, the options are seemingly endlessly as far as what you can write about. Of course, it is advisable to know your audience so you don’t audaciously make politically incorrect statements to those in your life who would find these insulting. Personal letters, like the rest of life, are best written with healthy boundaries in place. This means, in other words, that there are matters too personal to share in most letters. There are exceptions to this, of course, as very close friends, sisters, or even brothers may be willing and happy to share more intimate information. Erring on the side of caution is generally wise if you are uncertain about sharing certain information; however, you also should try to avoid the other extreme where you don’t share any information about your life beyond commonplace topics such as weather conditions and work.

Personal Letters Improving The Lives Of Soldiers

Letters can be written anywhere, and this can add to their uniqueness. With tablets and portable computers with long battery life, it’s possible to write a letter atop a mountain (presuming weather conditions allow), on a park bench in Boston, or on a train in France sitting next to a man who smells like he bathed in garlic oil. Even if you don’t bother to describe your setting, merely being in different settings will add spice to your writing. If you don’t believe me, I suggest you try writing letters in diverse settings in order to see how doing so influences the way you write. In my experience, I’ve found natural settings such as parks wonderful opportunities to write letters. Or, during my latest backpacking adventure on the Appalachian Trail, I wrote several letters inside my one-person R.E.I. tent. My only concern writing these letters was that they might smell a bit too much like hiker funk when they arrived at their destination. Their recipients never commented on this, however, so perhaps I was overthinking matters.

Favorite Topics

What is one of your favorite things to share about when you write letters?

See results

If you wish to write you letters indoors, one excellent place to do so is in an airport. Airports, especially the larger ones such as Denver International Airport, offer people-watching opportunities which could help inspire the beginning lines of a letter. Can’t you just imagine the possibilities? I can almost start a letter right now based on one of my last visits to Denver International Airport, and how I saw a man with such a long white beard I wondered, with a wry smile, if he was a fan of ZZ Top.

Another excellent indoor location to write letters is at a shopping mall. Again, the people-watching is one reason to consider this location. It’s also a setting rich with potential writing topics. You could discuss topics ranging from the store closest to where you are sitting, or else branch out and discuss commercialism in a more philosophical sense.

Kids can write the funniest letters

Personal letters can also be spiced up with themes. In other words, you may decide that you want to write a letter about your girlhood crushes to Tracey, a friend from college. Following a theme is one way to avoid falling into the trap of unthinkingly relaying the most current information about your life. It is also a way to dig deep into memory to see what you might uncover. The end result could be a diverting letter as well as a newfound appreciation for the memories you unearthed. Or, instead of focusing your letter on one theme, you can try several interwoven themes. For instance, you may be interested in writing about your time at summer camp as a girl and how this inspired you to go backpacking in Alaska and how this experience convinced you to pursue getting your Master’s degree in Outdoor Education.

Letters can also be made more interesting by adding quotes, stickers, comic strips, newspaper articles, and magazine articles. I’ve received poems, essays, quotes, and beyond inside letters, and I’ve sent out my share of quotes, articles from magazines ranging from The New Yorker to Poets & Writers magazine, and comics. Enclosures are a wonderful way to send along an article or comic strip you think might hit the spot, and, on occasion, it is joyfully received.

Maybe your nearest and dearest would appreciate finding a comic strip enclosed in their letter.
Maybe your nearest and dearest would appreciate finding a comic strip enclosed in their letter. | Source

Speaking of hitting the spot, not every letter you write will be as impactful or memorable as certain others. This is one of the inevitable truths about writing: Sometimes what you have to say is engaging, and yet there are times the words fall more flat than you would like. This happens to all writers, and it is essential to relax and enjoy the writing process. Since presumably your friends and family love and appreciate you for reasons that have nothing to do with the letters you send them, the process of writing personal letters should be as enjoyable, lighthearted, and playful as possible. What are you waiting for? Surely there is a letter inside of you right now waiting to be written.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)