The Art of the Letter [GUEST POST]

Letters

Few things are as treasured as a personal letter received from someone we love. (Photo by Suzy Hazelwood, Flickr)

 

Letters. You know, the kind we get from a dear friend or relative on those rare occasions someone takes the time to put pen to paper and contact us through good old-fashioned snail mail. We love getting them, but these days our correspondence seems to have been reduced to nothing more than short-hand texts or emojis. That is why we love Rachel Hauck’s new novel, The Love Letter, a story which celebrates letters and their impact on us over time. In today’s guest post, she shows why they are still so important and how they connect us like no other medium. Enjoy! —Jathan & Heather


 

In the back of my guest bedroom closet is a tub of memorabilia. Mementos from college, diaries, family trinkets, and bundles of letters.

Handwritten letters in envelopes each with a stamp and return address.

Sometimes I like to curl up on the floor and travel into the past by reading those old missives.

Each one speaks of another time, of people who only live in my memories. Reading their handwritten notes reminds me of who they are and how much I still care about them.

I tear up reading a note from my dad during college encouraging me to stick with my studies and how I was born to write.

“You’re a writer, Rachel. Be a writer.”

I laugh reading a stack of letters from an elementary school friend.

Each curve and line of their handwriting connects me to them emotionally in a way typewritten text does not.

Handwriting is part of the person, an extension of their personality. Handwriting has a voice all its own.

How powerful that voice when used to express love or appreciation for another. We can’t let handwritten letters become a lost art!

Here are a few ideas to inspire you to handwrite your next letters:

LET IT FLOW. In writing a letter by hand, your ideas and emotions are expressed easier. Grabbing pen and paper forces you to process at a deeper level than typing.

GET IT RIGHT. Because we don’t want to make a mistake, writing by hand forces us to consider what we want to say.

LET THE HEART SPEAK. While there’s no need to wax sentimental or romantic in a letter, handwritten notes inspire more emotional communication. Letter writing leads us inside our own hearts, and we learn about ourselves. You are unique! Let that uniqueness shine in your letters.

I SEE YOU. Imagine how your children or grandchildren will feel to read your handwritten letters. Novels like The Love Letter are written about found letters. What will your ancestors “see” in your writing that communicates beyond pictures or old stories? What if your great-great-grandchild discovers she makes her “Ys” the same way you do? What a connection that would be!

GET THE GOODS. I find when I invest in products like pen and paper, I tend to use them more. If you make a pledge to handwrite more letters, invest in some nice stationery and a pen. I recently fell in love with the old Bic pens again. I love writing with them. Now all I need is nice stationery.

I know we live in an instant-communication world. I don’t write letters because I don’t have news. It’s already “out” via Facebook or text or—gasp—an old-fashioned cell phone call.

But are there stories you can tell in a letter that aren’t right for social media or a text? A lesson you learned? How you met your spouse? A funny anecdote?

I’m thinking of a couple of stories I’d like to tell my nieces. Putting them down in my own hand will remind them of me in the years to come and will live longer in their hearts and minds.

I’m off to buy some nice stationery. My handy-dandy Bic pen is at the ready.

How about you? Can you invest in some old-fashioned letter writing? Who knows the impact on the generations to come.

Rachel Hauck's THE LOVE LETTER

Thomas Nelson

ABOUT THE LOVE LETTER

Romance has never been actress Chloe Daschle’s forte—in life or on screen. But everyone knows who to call for a convincing death scene… and it might be killing her career.

When Chloe is given a peek at the script for an epic love story, she decides to take her destiny into her own hands and request an audition for the lead female role, Esther Kingsley. The compelling tale, inspired by family lore and a one-page letter from the colonial ancestor of scriptwriter Jesse Gates, just might break her out of this career-crippling rut. Jesse would rather write about romance than live through it after his past relationship ended in disaster. But once on-set together, the chemistry between Jesse and his leading lady is hard to deny.

Centuries earlier, in the heart of the Revolutionary War, Hamilton Lightfoot and Esther Longfellow wrote their saga off the silver screen. Esther’s Loyalist opposes any relationship with Hamilton, but Esther must face her beloved father’s disapproval and the dangers of war in order to convince Hamilton of their future together. Hamilton has loved Esther for years, and on the eve of battle pens the love letter she’s always wanted—something straight from the heart.

Set in stunning upcountry South Carolina, The Love Letter is a beautifully crafted story of the courage it takes to face down fear and chase after love, even in the darkest of times. And just maybe, all these generations later, love can come home in a way not even Hollywood could imagine.

Rachel Hauck

Rachel Hauck

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rachel Hauck is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of The Wedding Dress, which was also named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times and was a RITA finalist.

Before she started writing full-time, she studied journalism at Ohio State University, then traveled the world as a software trainer and writing coach.

Currently, Rachel lives in Central Florida with her husband and two pets and writes from her ivory tower. Visit her home on the Web at RachelHauck.com, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

THE LOVE LETTER
By Rachel Hauck
352 pgs. Thomas Nelson. $15.99

TLC Book Tours Tour HostPurchase The Love Letter at one of these fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, iBooks, IndieBound, and Powell’s.

The Love Letter is brought to you in association with TLC Book Tours.

About Rachel Hauck
I'm the bestselling author of THE WEDDING DRESS, which was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by RT Book Reviews and was a RITA finalist. I live in Florida with my husband and two pets.

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