Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ten on Tuesday - February 21st, 2012

Oh, hey it's Tuesday? Well gee... :)

Today's Ten on Tuesday is Ten Tips for Writing a Great Letter. Which believe me, is right down my alley.

Here we go!

1. Start by writing it on the computer. Note that I said start by - depending on your letter, it may be completely rude to print it off and send it - but the computer is a good place to start all the same. The computer allows you to get all of your thoughts 'on paper' so to speak, and allows you to move things around and remove pieces without having to waste an entire eraser, or cramp up your hand.

2. If it is a personal letter, write it out by hand before you send it. I can't stress this enough. In an age of computers and digital type it is of course easier to type and print, but this method has no personality - and it lacks the care and attention that a hand-written letter portrays.

3. Make sure you are using the proper words. It drives me crazy when people don't. For example:

Their = possession
There = place
They're = They are

It's = It is
Its = possession

To = something's relationship with something else (they are going to the market, etc.)
Two = the number after one
Too = reflecting excess

Sorry for the impromptu grammar lesson - but it is a pet peeve, believe me.

4. Think about what you're writing about. There is nothing worse than trying to read half thought-out letters that make no sense whatsoever... Dot your i's and cross your t's before you have people coming back to you wondering what the letter was supposed to say.

5. Decide what you are writing about before you write it. Similar to the last point, take the same concept you would in writing an essay. It helps prevent wordy nothings, and lengthy boring letters.

6. Use sentence case. For the love of God, use sentence case. DO NOT MAKE IT SEEM LIKE YOU ARE YELLING AT YOUR READER! and please do not make it sound like you don't care by putting it all in lowercase. (Am I the only one who reads sentences that are all in lower case with a very monotone 'voice'?)

7. Put a date on it. This seemingly unrelated note is more important than it might seem, especially with the mail system as volatile as it has been this year. You never know if your letters are actually getting to their recipient in the intended order.

8. Proof read. Before you send your letter, be sure to read over it at least once to ensure that there are no spelling

9. Use good paper - a letter written or printed on great stationary will have a much greater impact than one written on dime store see-through printer paper.

10. Summarize. So in summary, write a draft on the computer, write personal letters by hand, use the proper words, ensure your letter makes sense, think about what you are writing, use sentence case, date your letter, proof read, and use good paper. See how easy that is?


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