I don’t know about you, but my interest in calligraphy and hand-lettering actually stemmed from a love of writing letters. As a young child, it amazed me that something I created could end up anywhere I wanted it to! I still get a thrill when I send off a letter or open my mailbox and see that I’ve received something.
“Snail mail” used to be a necessary part of life, but it has ceased to be so in the last 20 years. It is, admittedly, much quicker to check in on someone via email or text message. However, writing letters isn’t about efficiency. The activity offers you a chance to slow down, be thoughtful, exercise your creativity, and connect with another person. I, personally, prefer physical letter writing to email because there’s no pressure for a quick response. The mode of communication — which moves at a glacial pace compared to electronic means — implies that you don’t have expectations for a lightening-quick reply. That’s so refreshing in today’s world, where we’ve come to expect an instantaneous turnaround of information.
In 2014, the idea occurred to me to create a resource for people who have an interest in writing letters. Since graduating from college in 2011, letter writing has kept several of my university friendships alive, so I believe in its power! I think that a lot of people are open to the concept of sending snail mail, but they’re not sure where to start. It’s difficult to know what to say to someone, even if you know them well!
I created the first version of The Letter Writer’s Complete Resource (LWCR) four years ago. The response to it throughout the years has been positive, but it needed a facelift in the form of new photography and fresh content. The updated LWCR is meant to motivate, encourage, and guide you through writing letters. It’s a 28-page eBook that includes worksheets to fill out, inspiration for sending beautiful mail, and printable graphics that you can include in or on your envelopes. The last 8 pages of the LWCR are comprised of envelope templates so you can create your own unique envelopes out of any paper!
The LWCR Worksheets
The new LWCR includes four worksheets to keep you organized when writing letters. The worksheets include a letter layout planner, a letter tracker, an address list, and a birthday calendar. The letter layout planner allows you to make a roadmap of the letter you’re about to write, ensuring you don’t forget anything! The letter tracker helps you to keep track of when you sent a letter and whether you received a response.
The address list provides a place for you to keep your correspondents’ addresses organized and in one place. My favorite worksheet, however, is the birthday calendar. At a single glance, you can see whose birthday is coming up, allowing you to send a card or a gift. I always feel so on top of things when I remember people’s birthdays, so the birthday calendar is a constant source of joy for me!
The Mini eBook
The LWCR includes eight pages of content that I call a “mini eBook”. The eBook portion provides you with letter writing prompts and questions to ask your recipient. It also includes suggestions for creative envelope enclosures (think floral confetti, illustrations), and presentation ideas like decoupage and envelope liners.
This new version of the LWCR also has five pages of printable original artwork that will come in handy when you want to add personality to your envelopes. Four of those pages are hand-drawn patterns that make great envelope liners! The last illustration page is essentially a collection of elegant, artistic “clipart” that you can cut out to decoupage on your envelopes.
The Envelope Templates
The Letter Writer’s Complete Resource includes eight pages of printable envelope templates. These templates range from common sizes (A7, A1, 4 bar) to less common, square sizes (5.5″ x 5.5″, 6″ x 6″). Remember that the square envelopes will require extra postage — at least when mailed in the USA! The current non-machinable envelope fee is an additional $0.21.
DIY envelopes are simple to make. You’ll just cut out the envelope template of your choice, assemble it if necessary, and trace around it onto a piece of paper that appeals to you. Cut out around whatever you traced, fold the flaps in, and glue the side flaps to the bottom flap. Put your correspondence in the newly-created envelope, then glue to the top flap to the side and bottom flaps! (If these instructions are confusing, take a look at the How to Make an Envelope Out of [Almost] Anything tutorial.)
How to Use The Letter Writer’s Complete Resource
I suggest that you print off certain pages of the LWCR on a per-need basis. It’s not necessary to print out the graphic-heavy pages because you can easily view those on your computer! However, pages like the birthday calendar are nice to have a physical copy of and potentially keep in a binder. You can print out any given page of the LWCR as many times as you want to!
My hope is that you will use the LWCR in the way that best suits you. Maybe you’ll use all of it, or maybe you’ll only rely on a few key pages. As long as the resource helps you when writing letters — and encourages you to write more of them — that’s fine with me!
No One to Write To?
If you’re interested in writing letters but can’t think of who you would possibly write to, you’ve got options! One of my favorite organizations is More Love Letters, which connects us with people who need encouragement. It’s a great way to spread some goodwill — and exercise your letter writing/mail art skills.
You can also join the Letter Writer’s Alliance, which will match you up with a pen pal based on your interests. (Note that a lifetime membership to the LWA requires a one-time $5.00 fee.) Alternatively, if you’re enthusiastic about calligraphy, you can find someone to exchange correspondence with via The Flourish Forum. Remember, too, that there are people in your life who would be pleasantly surprised to hear from you! From grandparents to children to siblings and friends, you may find a new way to connect with someone you care about.
If you’re interested in the Letter Writer’s Complete Resource, you can find it by clicking here. I’m happy to answer any questions about it — or letter writing in general — in the comments section of this post! Additionally, if you have any letter writing tips or experiences to share, they’re welcome here, too. Thanks very much for reading TPK, and have a wonderful weekend!