I can’t count how many times I’ve imagined myself sitting at my desk, a beautiful fountain pen poised over carefully chosen stationery as I begin to write a letter to a friend. In these daydreams, the words flow freely. My steaming cup of coffee goes cold and untouched as the words keep coming. I know just what to say and how I want to say it.
The reality is that the words don’t come. I sit at my desk, tapping my pen and anxiously sipping that steaming cup of coffee as I try to figure out what to write. Letter writing is something that is so romanticized, it hardly seems right to send someone an account my day. Surely I can find something better to write about.
Whenever it comes to writing, whether it’s in my journal or in a letter to a friend, I often turn to prompts to help guide me. I keep a long list of them and scroll through it until something calls out to me. If, like me, you’ve longed to have a letter-writing practice, here are some of my favorite things to write about when nothing else comes to me.
1. A moment of kindness you witnessed while people-watching
2. A place you’ve always wanted to visit and what you hope to do there
3. One thing on this season’s bucket list
4. A compliment you’ve always wanted to give to the recipient
5. A book or movie you’ve recently experienced and want to recommend
6. A person who has made a profound impact on your life
7. Something small you’ve accomplished recently that makes you feel really good
8. A list of questions you’ve always wanted to ask the recipient
9. How you’d spend your ideal day
10. A holiday you’ve made up and how you’d like to celebrate it
For those of you who enjoy writing letters to send to friends and loved ones, how do you decide what to write about? Your advice may be shared in an upcoming issue of Bella Grace.
Christen Hammons is editor-in-chief of Bella Grace. She lives in Orange County with her husband, two sassy cats, and one scruffy dog.