In a letter to her sister, Cassandra, Jane Austen wrote, I have now
Too often our words are stilted. We write politely, yet if the receiver couldn't see our return address or signature, they wouldn't know who wrote it.
3 Ways You Can Shine through Your Letters
1. Write in the same voice in which you speak.
I wouldn't expect my friend Janene to write a letter that wasn't peppered with exclamation points. Whatever happens in her life is told through her excitement or dread. If you give hugs freely, create an atmosphere of closeness. If you are matter-of-fact, write your letters with a matter-of-fact voice.
2. Use stationery to match your personality.
If I open a teacup or teapot notecard, I immediately think it's from my sister, Melodie. Her home is filled with china teacups -- glowing with the flame from tea lights, artfully arranged on her antique organ -- and tea pots filled with fresh flowers.
In the same way, I have a friend who writes on notebook paper. I'd know who it was from from the notebook paper and safety envelope. And I love it just as much because it is a reflection of her personality.
3. Choose your writing instrument wisely.
My Aunt Judy had the most beautiful penmanship. I'd recognize the flair of her words anywhere. My sister writes with an accountant fine pen and you have to use a magnifying glass to read her words. (Well, almost.) My mother wrote her letters with a blue pen -- never a black one. My daughter, Melanie, heard that and will only use a blue pen "like Grandma." My daughter, Emily, uses all colors of Flair markers.
Here are some tips for making envelopes the Jane Austen way.
2. If you have an envelope style you like, take one apart and use it for a template.
3. Line an envelope by tracing the envelope, then cutting 1/4" inside your line. Use a tape runner to keep in place.
4. If a graphic you want to use is close to an edge, choose a template with thin side flaps. (The book background is a paper in the stack -- don't you love it?!!)
5. Reread your favorite Austen book. Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey, or one of her other classics, to put you in the mood for letter writing.
6. Share a quote in the next letter you write:
There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves; it is not my nature. Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey
I must learn to be content with being happier than I deserve.
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
My sore throats are always worse than anyone's. Jane Austen, Persuasion
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