Letter writing series - #2 How to approach it
Every once in a while in the shop, someone mentions that they don't know how to write a letter or card. They just don't know where to begin. For some, it's because they never learned to write cursive. Some haven't received letters or cards in a long time. They've lost touch with the art of letter-writing.
If you're one of these people, start small. A greeting card or postcard is an easy way to dip your toe (or fingers!) into handwriting as communication. If your intention is to surprise and delight someone in particular, you'll be able to do so without feeling too daunted.
Whether it's a card or letter you're writing, start by thinking about your intention. Who are you writing to? Is it to express thanks, inform them of something, to re-establish a connection, or to cheer them up? Find a notepad and jot down some points - things you want to remember to say and include.
If it's spelling and grammar that concerns you, write a draft, then look up any words or phrases you're not sure about. There're lots of great books and online guides to help you with grammar. Many focus on common mistakes, such as it's versus its, when to use an apostrophe, and how punctuation can change the meaning of a sentence (hello, Eats, Shoots & Leaves).
Another thing I've observed over the past few years is some young people referring to handwriting as calligraphy. I suspect this is because they haven't learned how to write, rather, they've been taught to print words onto the page. If you read our series on writing instruments last year, you'll know calligraphy is its own art form and more specific than cursive.
If you didn't learn how to write cursive, there're online tutorials and books available for purchase or loan (through your library). You can also ask someone who knows how to write to teach you. It's faster than printing, as each letter links to the next, much in the same way letter sounds flow into one another due to the 'liason' effect in French.
Cursive is also very personal. It's one of life's little joys to see an envelope in the mail and be able to recognize who it's from by the handwriting alone.
Next week, we'll discuss more about formats of letter writing, including personal elements. Until then, we hope you enjoy the early days of spring and all the little bulbs pushing up and out around us!