I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce mysoul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone forever
Composing a love letter can seem intimidating or even ridiculous at first. Putting your innermost personal feelings into words can be a challenge in itself, but the fears of rejection, confusion, and embarrassment of conveying these feelings prevent many passions from being expressed and many desires from being achieved.
Pick your stationery
To begin writing a love letter, the most important step is to clear your mind of any inhibitions you might have. Remember, love letters can touch the heart of anyone--a tough teenager, or even a husband of twenty- five years--when written truthfully and tastefully. Your love letter may even be treasured and kept for years to come. So, clear your mind of clutter--if necessary clear your desk as well--and focus on your letter. While not as important as the content, the presentation of your letter should be considered first. Select stationery appropriate to your personality and the emotion of the letter-- this could be perfumed paper covered in flowers, or it might be something as simple as notebook paper or even a napkin. Let the stationery reflect you and your moment.
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Be sure to hand-write your letter, unless of course your handwriting is completely illegible. Your handwriting is more personal and more meaningful than any font you could choose. A fountain pen, preferably with dark ink, is more pleasing to the eye than ballpoint pen. Finishing your letter or envelope with a seal adds a nice touch, as does a special postage stamp.
Why are you writing?
Before you begin to write, determine the letter's purpose. Are you writing to tell your lover how much you miss him or her? Are you beginning contact with someone you hardly know? Each letter will require a different note. Take into consideration how long and how well you know the person to whom you are writing. Be careful not to go overboard with someone you hardly know--start off slow and easy. Be sure to date your letter. The date will invite memories and emotion even years later, as your loved one looks back. Select a salutation appropriate for the depth of your relationship. "Dear Fitzwilliam" is fine, but be creative. Feel free to use nicknames and term of endearment.
Write from the heart
The body of your letter should come from the heart. It does not have to be perfect, nor does it have to look professional. You are the author of this letter. For this reason, be sincere, be honest, and be yourself. Avoid using complicated words when a simple one will do. You want your lover to be thinking of you, not a dictionary. Don't be afraid to be funny. Humor has its place in love and it can be used to break the ice if you are initiating communication with someone you hardly know. If you feel inclined, poke fun at yourself and your helpless state of infatuation. Mention inside jokes, place and events that only the two of you know. This will give your letter a personal feel and remind your lover of the intimate nature of your correspondence. Stick to a loving and romantic voice. This is not the time for nagging or jealousy. A love letter is meant to evoke the deepest, most passionate of emotions.
Keep your focus and remember your purpose for writing and you will achieve the desired effect. Just writing a love letter produces a calming and romantic mood. Writing a love letter is an excellent way to collect your thoughts and put a relationship into perspective. Just think how surprised your lover will be when he or she receives your letter. Try placing the envelope in a secret place: on the pillow, in his briefcase, on her bathroom mirror. Receiving a true love letter is an unforgettable moment. With the right touch, your love letter will be a personal and beautiful expression of your love. It will be a unique work of art to be experienced and cherished--and an expression only you can give.
Excerpted from The Art of the Love Letter by Thomas Campbell (mini-kit edition) Running Press,U.S.; 2001 (978-0762413119). Want to give your letters an authentic feel? Check out our wax seal kit, available in our gift shop.