Writing Practice by the Letter
The writing workshop with Surprising Returns*
Writing is hard, even for the best.
Could you do better? Could your staff?
Let's make it interesting with Writing Practice by the Letter, a new workshop series.
Writing is an important skill no matter your profession or industry.
The good news is that writing is a skill that can be improved. With practice.
In this three-part series, we begin with letters of thanks and gratitude (proven to create a sense of well-being for the writer), exploring who to write to and what to write about, all within the context of what makes good writing.
Designed to develop an ongoing writing routine, each session begins with a review of best practices, is followed by writing time, and ends with outgoing mail.
Session 1: Getting Started
We'll begin with:
• organizing your thoughts
• gathering your materials
• writing a draft, editing, and rewriting
• the woes and benefits of handwriting
• and letter writing 101
Session 2: Editing Your Work
In this session, we focus on:
• trimming the fat
• a look at common mistakes
• talk about word choice
• and a primer on stationery
Session 3: Keep Reading
Whether it's a a book, an email, or a letter, we'll talk about how to:
• get and keep your reader's attention
• use stories in your writing
• write in a conversational tone
• and find people to write to
Scroll to bottom for workshop details.
Research and experience shows that writing letters of gratitude can foster a sense of well-being.
Depressed, broke, and in the middle of his second divorce, attorney John Kralik found renewed optimism and happiness writing thank you notes. In his book A Simple Act of Gratitude: How Learning to Say Thank You Changed My Life he writes the story of how writing 365 thank you notes turned his life around.
In Letters of Gratitude: Improving Well-Being through Expressive Writing, Steven Toepfer and Kathleen Walker studied the impact of writing letters of gratitude. Would it boost a person's sense of well-being? Yes.
Just three installments of 10-15 minutes (average writing time for 35% of the sample) and one page in length (53% of the sample) was sufficient to usher in positive change. This suggests that as an intentional activity, letters of gratitude can have important benefits for authors in a relatively short period of time.
The findings presented in this study indicate that putting one’s feeling and thoughts of gratitude on paper has real benefits after the pen leaves the paper. The preexisting and often silent resource of gratitude can be mobilized in the pursuit of not happiness alone but toward the growth of gratitude and ultimately well-being.
Gertrude Stein seemed to know something about this when she said, “Silent gratitude isn't very much use to anyone.” According to the present findings, writing letters of gratitude is an intentional activity that supports that sentiment.
Toepfer, S., & Walker, J. (2009). Letters of Gratitude: Improving Well-Being through Expressive Writing. Journal of Writing Research
Book Your Workshops
Writing Practice by the Letter is a fresh approach to break-out sessions for conferences, training, and enrichment programs.
Workshops run 1-1/2 hours.
Class size limited to 20
• tip sheets: writing, punctuation, and common errors
• sample letters: by well-known and not-so-well-known personalities
• stationery: note cards, note paper, and easy peasy fill-in-the-blanks
• stamps: from our collection of vintage and forever stamps
• inspiring bonus materials
Get in touch today to book your workshop, improve your writing . . . and your well-being.