Welcome to my guest this week, Shannon Hood, creator of A Forever Letter blog and a fellow evangelist for note and letter writing. We’ll be supporting each other in this noble cause, and I’m so glad she let me share this post with you. See below for more about Shannon.
So you’re thinking about becoming a letter writer? I’m so glad to have your company. Perhaps you’re a seasoned correspondent; if that’s the case, this post probably isn’t for you. But if you haven’t written a letter in a few decades (or maybe ever!), there are a few simple things you need before you get started.
Fortunately, the tools used for writing a letter are neither expensive nor difficult to find. And you won’t even need a charged phone or wifi to write one!
The first item to put in your letter-writing box is something to write letters on. This is often called “stationery,” and it can be anything from lined notebook paper to fine cotton paper, notecards, or anything in between. Greeting cards work, too! I prefer to write my own thoughts rather than rely on greeting card writers, but really, anything goes here. Paper + envelope = stationery.
Secondly, head to the post office, or usps.com, and pick out some stamps. If they have a design you love, grab a few sheets; now that you’re a letter writer, you’re going to need them!
Finally, it’s time to round up a few addresses. If you already keep an address book — either digitally or a physical one, you can skip this tool and begin writing. If you don’t, may I suggest that you begin one today? A spreadsheet is a simple way to store addresses, but (shocker!) I prefer a physical address book. I find that it’s faster to locate an address in a physical book as opposed to a phone or a computer. Again — find a method that works for you, and be sure it’s easy to make changes when needed. So if you’re keeping a physical address book, do write in pencil.
If your collection of addresses is a bit thin, start reaching out to people you’d like to write to and ask for their addresses. A side benefit of keeping an up-to-date address book through the year is that you’ll avoid the frantic rush to gather addresses in November to send out Christmas cards (and you definitely send Christmas cards, right? wink).
All you need now is a quiet spot, a window with a pretty view of the outside world, a cup of peppermint tea, and a few moments to pen your thoughts to someone dear to you.
About Shannon Hood
Shannon is a writer/blogger and mother/wife from Texas, and we’ve bonded over our shared passion for old fashioned letter writing. Read Shannon’s story HERE about her 2019 project of writing a letter every day—a practice she has continued in 2020. Click below to find Shannon in all these places:
- A Forever Letter website
- A Forever Letter Facebook page
- A Forever Letter on Instagram
- Shannon on Twitter @ShannonHood
- A Forever Letter on Pinterest
Elizabeth’s note: In spite of my love for pen and paper, I do keep addresses on my phone/tablet/computer so I have easy access to them when I travel. Snail mail addresses used to be readily available from our local phone books, but since landlines are being dropped in favor of cell phones, it’s hard to find them. I use Whitepages.com, but it’s far from perfect.