How to Write a Heartfelt Letter
Putting words on paper in a letter is like telling a story to someone out loud, the difference being that you may think about what you say more carefully before writing it. A letter is a permanent record of your thoughts, so you want to carefully choose your words. Agonizing over each word, however, can stifle the flow of words from your heart.
Spend time thinking exactly what you want to write about in your letter. Identify the emotions you have surrounding different circumstances or situations you want to include.
Write a brief opening at the beginning of the letter. Consider asking how the letter's recipient is feeling or what she has been doing lately. You might also jump right in to the heart of your letter, which is a bit more intense than leading in to your subject matter with a more subtle opening.
Write about the topics you want to include individually in paragraphs to make the letter easy to understand. Discuss how you feel and write as if you were talking to a good friend in person. Take your time writing so that you're sure to to convey all of your thoughts. A heartfelt letter can lead to new openings for communication with friends, spouses and family. If you were writing to your children, you might include words of encouragement or blessing, avoiding criticism or advice.
Proofread your letter for clarity, flow and cohesiveness. Correct spelling and grammar mistakes but don't worry if it isn't perfect. The purpose of your letter is to let the recipient know what is going on in your head and heart, not to write an error-free letter.
Read your letter out loud once to hear how it sounds. Words on paper sometimes can be misinterpreted. So double check that the letter's tone is right. If something could cause some confusion, clarify it with another sentence or two. If your letter needs to be rewritten, do so. A messy letter with additions and scratch outs can be even harder to follow and interpret than one with just some confusing sentences.
Close your letter with a sign-off that is less formal than "Sincerely" or "Best regards," which are more appropriate for business letters. Use "Love" or "Your friend" instead to show the person that you are writing more from your heart.
Leyla Norman has been a writer since 2008 and is a certified English as a second language teacher. She also has a master's degree in development studies and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology.