1,000 views! Thanks for watching my TEDx talk!

Letterfromlisa

Thank you all who have watched my TEDxCamarillo talk about the gift and power of handwritten letters!  It has been fun getting letters, reading comments about how the talk inspired people to write and hearing stories about how it triggered memories about special letters from you!   National Letter Writing Month is right around the corner.  I’ll write more about that next time!

A letter a week on Instagram

I’ve decided to just have an Instagram account for all things letter writing for now.  When my book is ready I’ll definitely be back on this site as the name of the book is … A letter a week.

So, if you are reading this please jump over to Instagram and follow me at @aletteraweek.

April 1 started the #write_on 30 letters in 30 days challenge so I encourage you to dive in–even if it’s only a letter or two.

Writeoncampaign.com is full of ideas on who you can write to over the month.

Happy National Letter Writing Month and I’ll see you over on Instagram.

-Julie

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November: A letter a day

Last year on Facebook I remember scrolling through reading what friends were thankful for. Not discounting their health or family members, sunsets and pets, but I thought about being thankful to behind the scenes people, businesses I patronize and individuals I really don’t know but appreciate that we may interact with whether it be one time or someone I’ve have known for years.
I decided to write a thank you note to them.

Below is a partial list from last year. Some days I wrote more than one and others where as situations came up where I couldn’t wait to get home to write one.

I don’t think I’ll post who I write to daily, but when I do, I’ll share the reason behind why I’m taking the time to write the individual or organization.

As I’ve been typing this I’ve thought of a few more. The list really is endless. I have much gratitude for others!

So, here we go:

Day 1: And, as it should be #1., My mother. We had lunch yesterday. We texted after and relayed how much we enjoyed our time together, but she’s still going to read it, in writing next week.

2. Last night we went to a football game. There was a man there who has been volunteering his time with the team for years. He’s a local businessman with a family, but I’m going to write him and thank him for his unimaginable hours he’s dedicated to our community.

3. A friend on Facebook who I really admire and respect isn’t on there much, (love her more for that reason alone) but when she does post something it is so thought provoking and usually a link to an article I enjoy or learn from. I’ll write to her and thank her for that.

So there you have a sampling of what I’ll be sending. Anytime, just like in my last post when you write, don’t stress over the exact wording. These won’t be lengthly letters. I don’t know how they’ll be received-doesn’t matter. To unplug for a bit, take time to send thankful sentiments to others is what matters to me.

There are lots of books out there on this topic, but John Kralik’s, 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Lifeis a great short read and sure to inspire you to reach out to others in the form of a hand written letter.

I hope you’ll be encouraged to write a few this month as we head towards Thanksgiving. I’ll look forward to comments of who you write to!

Thankful for much …

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1 Step to Letter Writing

bdaycardsI don’t know about you, but I am so tired of reading 10 steps for this, Seven sure ways to do that.  There are so many tips out there on how to write the correct blog post to and ways to get more readership.  I am writing this blog solely as an outlet of my passion of letter writing.  As you can tell (if you scroll back, I guess), I haven’t written in a few months.  I’ve written lots of letters and taken a few photos for blog posts.  I’m living life and the days keep going by.  The reason for this post is to just say I don’t think you need a reason or a how to write a letter.  When you feel compelled to write, just do it. Yes, you’ll need to put some effort into what to say and buy some stamps and know where the nearest post office or mailbox is, but I guess that’s where the time and thoughtfulness comes in.   My card choice may not be perfect or my writing sloppy, but my intention ALWAYS behind writing is to sit and connect with that person for a moment–even if they don’t reply.

Above is a sample of some of the stationery I received from girlfriends this month for my birthday.  It’s a such a great gift for me and I love thinking of my friends when I send notes to others.   I have a French Bulldog that looks just like this card so I was thrilled to receive these.  It’s also nice to get stationery that you have never seen before.  That’s where specialty card stores are a must for me, especially when we travel.  The fall leaves is blank inside and was perfect for this time of year and green is my favorite color so of course I loved these too.

Happy letter writing whatever method you choose …

A note from my Dad …

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This photo is from a note from my dad that I have had for at least 10 years. We always talk about what book we are reading or the latest movies we’ve seen on the phone. His commute to work is about an hour and at the time mine was almost that long. He sent me a box (aging myself here) of The World’s 100 Greatest Books on tape. That would be cassette tape. For some of you that was something from the 80’s and 90’s. The link is for the CD’s, but I highly recommend listening to these. Each tape (CD) is 45 minutes long and is basically a “Cliff Note” style narrative.

Back to the note … I kept it because as soon as I opened the box this small note was on top. Seven words that when read put a smile on my face. Seven words that weren’t complex or anything new. Seven words that were written as a short communication, but that had a big impact on me. A simple piece of paper, but written words from the man is means the world to me, my dad.

A note is defined as a “short informal letter”. I like to think of them as short letters. My dad has written me other letters (which I have also thrown away some, blog for another time) but this one has stayed with me for some reason. That’s what I enjoy about handwritten correspondences–You never know what one writes that will awaken you. Will it make you smile or tear up? Will the words be no big deal and it gets thrown away immediately (which this very easily could have). Will the words remind you of a certain time (this did—commuting for a job and the passion for reading that my dad and I share (he’s a reading instructor so I guess I didn’t have a choice)?

I can’t wait to share this post with my dad to see if he remembers sending this note to me!

The timing of cards

This photo is from a card that I had for over four years. The reason why I know it has been that long is because I put a return address on it was from a home we lived in four years ago. I’m sure it has many fingerprints on it from me as I’ve taken it out if its “Misc.” drawer dozens of times and always ended up putting it back, feeling as though it just wasn’t the right time or person to send it to.

Yesterday, a friend texted me to see how I was doing after a procedure I had for my hip. (Just a shot to hopefully calm whatever is going on in there-blog for another time! Ha!) Other friends checked in on me too, but for some reason hers stood out and I thumbed back through some our text exchanges and immediately thought, “She makes my life richer!” I headed right over to the card to send to her and it is now somewhere between my mailbox and her home.

She’s not my best friend, we haven’t even hung out a lot, but she’s funny, creative, witty, true and caring. She’s a wife, a mom, a daughter, business savvy and my friend. I hope she enjoys receiving this card as much as I did sending it!

Reason for this post? Buy cards that you like and there will come a time when you’ll instantaneously know who deserves to get it in the mail.

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February 7: Send a Card to a Friend Day

Here is what I call my stationery closet!  I'm always adding to my stationery wardrobe.

So excited to sit for a bit tomorrow and send cards to friends!  It’s National Send a Card to a Friend Day!   I of course do this all throughout the year, but tomorrow will be for those close friends, ones I text and see a lot, but don’t really write to that often.  It is still fun to take time to let them know how much I appreciate our friendship or send them a little motivation.  So many of my friends are hard working moms and sending them a handwritten note is the least I can do for them.  I don’t have kids, so I try and let my mom friends know how incredibly awesome they are!

The photo above is where I get my cards when I’m at home. It sits right next to my desk and computer and is within arm’s reach.  I purchased this BisleyCollection Cabinet from The Container Store years ago.  I love it and spend way too much on stationery, but this is exactly why I started this blog:  To inspire others to write letters, “just because …”

I’m not an English major and I’m sure someone can rip apart my grammar.  I am passionate about putting pen to paper and hope you will enjoy what I share!  I don’t plan on posting just “National” this or that day. I had been sitting on this blog for months and the other day when I read about Thank a Mailman day I decided to dive in!  I will share who I write to and hopefully encourage others to write more too!  There are many articles out there about the diminishing art of the handwritten letter. I’ll share those, my favorite stationery vendors, other bloggers and organizations that support writing good ol’ snail mail.

Please feel free to add any comments or suggestions!  I’m new to this blogging world, but figured I’d give my Facebook friends a break from constantly talking about the art that I love:  handwritten letters.