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How to Write a Friendly Letter - Getting Started

There you sit, pen in hand, ready to write. Now what? Getting started is actually the hardest part. Because there's no "backspace" button, many people feel intimidated by the power of the pen. Don't be! Simply think through what you want to say before you get started. You can even scribble some notes on another sheet of paper (or check your work using a word processor if it makes you more comfortable). If you are just writing to say hello to a friend or acquaintance, think about what you would say to him or her if you picked up the phone to call. Remember, your letter doesn't have to be overly-formal…it should simply follow the tone of your usual, natural conversations.

Here are some opening lines to help you get started:

"I was just thinking about the time that we…"

"You won't believe what I heard the other day…"

"I am so looking forward to hearing how you're doing."

"I miss you…"

"I thought of you today because…"

"I have good news!"

"I can't wait to hear about…"

etc. etc.!

Your Turn

Letters are one place where it's acceptable…even necessary…to go on and on about yourself. Share news in your life, talk about your interests or current events, give personal updates, even talk about the weather! Just be sure to share something about yourself to which the recipient can relate or respond in a letter of his or her own.

Suggestions for Friendly Letters