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How to write a love letter

Submitted by Melissa Ibbotson on February 11, 2011 – 12:14 amNo Comment

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and maybe you haven’t thought of what to get for your beloved. Well, here’s a solution that’s heartfelt and free. Write a love note.

“I don’t know what to say”—you may argue. Follow some simple time-tested advice and you can’t go wrong.

The first thing is to make sure you are sincere. “If he or she knows the writer well, the recipient will likely know whether the message is heart felt,” said Erin Pennington Wood, rhetoric and writing professor.

Start by brainstorming what you want to say. Make notes, draw pictures, or just think about how the person has impacted your life. Remember that your first attempt will probably not be your last.

“Give yourself time to let ideas incubate,” Wood said. “Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed— just relax.”

When the time comes to write your letter, there are a few things you should do before you start.

Writer Larry Barkdull, of writerexpress.com, said putting on romantic music and dimming the lights might help set the mood you want for your letter.

Next, make sure you date your letter. Ideally, “This is a letter that will be treasured and remembered,” Barkdull said. “You can bet that it will be read over and over and safeguarded in a special place.”

When you start writing, try not to be too casual or stuffy. You want the reader to understand the feelings you have.

Pick out two or three ideas you’ve had floating around to focus on.

“Choosing too many may cause you to lose focus and ramble,” Wood said. “Spend a few minutes writing a little more about what you have chosen.”

When it comes time to end your letter, Barkdull said to make sure you are upbeat and positive, and end your letter with something more substantial than just “with love.”

The most important thing to remember while writing your letter is to be confident. If you’re feeling adventurous, try to mix it up a bit.

“My boyfriend likes to write me love letters in Spanish, because it’s one of the love languages and because it’s like a treasure hunt to translate it,” said UALR graduate Beth Monroe. “Translating it takes time and allows each word to strike me individually.”

Just remember not to over do it. Your confidence (or lack of) will come through in your letter.

“You want your love letter to make your beloved fall in love, not in laughter,” Barkdull said.

Once you’re done, don’t over-analyze what you wrote. Put it in an envelope, maybe throw in some rose petals, and send it on its way. Or cook dinner and give the letter over dessert.

No matter how you present it, your letter is sure to please, and will be treasured for a long time to come.

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