Dear Beloved Reader,
We write this at the start of the year’s most love-drunk month: February. Cupid has officially taken up residency in grocery stores near you, trailing a string of red, white, and pink paper hearts. Expect the romance to only grow stronger as Valentine’s Day nears.
What, then, to get your dearest ones? Mass-produced paper cards? Aghast! Nothing at all? Fie! Instead, may we suggest the personalized splendor of a handwritten love letter? Three tips, do we bequeath, to inspire your quill (or, you know, word processor):
Pick your subject.
Don’t default to arm candy. Your roommate, parents, best friend from elementary school, the apartment neighbor who doesn’t stay up late learning the guitar à la Sarah McLachlan’s oeuvre — all are worthy of your attention if you feel inspired to give them some of your rare writerly affection. Whether you’re celebrating Galentine’s Day or renewing your vows, make your muse feel appreciated.
Look to the past.
This can be as simple as drawing from your own history with this particular person. Maybe you met in the cereal aisle at the grocery store and bonded over how you both hate the spelling of “fruit” in Froot Loops. Maybe the person you’re writing to gave birth to you, and you want to thank them for the excruciating pain they went through to eject you into the world. It’s possible to think of the letter as what you’d tell a new friend about your loved one — people love to know that you rave about them when they’re not around.
Break out the craft glue.
Love comes in all forms and thus, so can your letter. To begin, we encourage shutting the laptop and trying out a pen and paper. Even if you loathe the sight of your own handwriting, it’s that extra touch that makes this more than a kindly worded email. Plus, now your loved one can get a graphological test done on you — they always knew the way you crossed your t’s indicated you were guarded with your emotions!
If in this exercise you find your letter-writing skills could use a little work, register for Nicole Hardy’s one-day course, The Modern Love Essay. Pen hits paper March 18.