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How to Stop Procrastinating and Send That Thank You Note

BY liz 04/29/2016

 

In 2013, Hello!Lucky letterpress founders Sabrina and Eunice Moyle realized they had a problem: They had a stationery line but were never actually puttin’ pen to paper themselves. “It’s very much the story of the cobbler’s kids having no shoes,” laughs Sabrina. Their pal Tess Darrow of Egg Press had the same issue, so they teamed up on Write_On, giving away free kits to inspire people—themselves included— to send some G.D. mail. This year, with the help of a few new partners, they shipped off a whopping 10,000 kits...and learned a lot about letter-penning in the process. Below, Sabrina shares nine tips for finally scrawling your heart out.

 

PAPER-STOCK UP

“It first helps to have a couple of nice materials to write with—some nice pens, nice cards or paper, nice stationery. That alone is very inspiring!”

 

 

THINK OF IT LIKE A DIARY (THAT YOU'RE NOT AFRAID YOUR MOM'S GONNA READ)

“I like to write notes first thing in the morning or last thing before going to bed when things are a little more quiet; it’s like a form of journaling that way. There was a period of time when I had a stack of cards on my bedside, and once a day, I’d write a card.”

 

ACTUALLY OPEN YOUR SHOEBOX OF LETTERS

“One thing I suggest doing is going back and finding old letters that I’ve kept and re-reading them. That’s an interesting exercise to get inspired.”

 

CONSIDER YOUR FUTURE FRIENDS

“A new thing I’ve done recently is send a card to somebody I don’t know that well, but want to get to know better. I found out on Facebook it was her birthday, so I sent her a birthday card. It was two weeks late—and she had moved, and so I had the wrong address. But eventually she got it, and now we’ve been e-mailing and are going to get together! It was a nice opener to someone I’d been wanting to develop more of a friendship with.”

 

 

BELATED IS WAY BETTER THAN BELABORED

“Think about the person when you’re not actually sitting down to write a letter. Contemplate funny memories that you have of them or what you want to say when you’re driving or waiting in line. When you’re ready, then sit down to write. If you force it, the person receiving is probably going to feel that.”

 

GO GUILT-FREE

“A major letter-writing blocker is guilt, but it’s never too late to write a thank you note. In fact, if the person’s not expecting it, all the better! If you get a note a week after you give a gift, it can feel like an obligatory thing—you know that person was trained well by their parents. But if you get one out of the blue, it can be even more special! A line someone once used in a card to me that I borrow all the time is, ‘Don’t let the lateness of this letter belie how grateful I am.’ It’s just a nice opener if card is overdue. But you don’t even have to apologize. Just say, ‘Hey, remember when you did blah blah five months ago? Thank you!’”

 

 

BAD HANDWRITING BEATS NO HANDWRITING

“Whenever you’re tempted to just send an e-mail, remember that handwriting is a whole other level of communication. Your actual writing says a lot about who you are. Even if you make a mistake and have to scribble something out! It will make the person who reads it feel good.”

 

PAY IT FORWARD WHILE YOU'RE PAYING THE BILLS

“If you’re sending out a bill, take a moment to send a note with it. It sounds crazy, but whoever you’re paying performed a service for you. Maybe some poor office drone is being paid minimum wage to open these bills, and wouldn’t it be a nice surprise if they got a thoughtful note?”

 

ALWAYS BE PAPER-PREPARED

“I recently heard of a woman who always keeps a sandwich in her pocket to give to a homeless person if she runs into them, in lieu of money. You could do that with any kind of happy card that says, ‘Dear you, I hope have you have a great day.’ My son is six years old, and he decided to write a letter to a homeless person. I asked him if it was cool if I gave it to this homeless man outside of Walgreens, and when I came back out he had written a truly beautiful letter back. It blew my mind. I was in tears reading it my car afterwards. I waited ‘til my kid got home from school, and asked our nanny to take a video of me reading it to him. Just to have something on-hand that could make someone’s day is really powerful.”

 

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