“One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters.”
– George Herbert
Nearly all fathers do their best to help their children succeed. Although your father was probably not perfect (none are), he has made a huge investment in your life and deserves your love and respect.
Throughout the year, and especially on Father’s Day (June 21 this year), you should look for ways to show him your love. Sending a personal, handwritten letter is quite possibly the best way to do that.
Although writing your father a letter may seem overwhelmingly difficult, you can conquer the task by breaking it down into five smaller steps.
Before beginning writing, you need to brainstorm what you will say.
Thinking back, create a list that includes…
- Your father’s best qualities
- Your favorite memories
- Things you learned from your father
- Ways your father has helped you
- Related quotes and Bible verses
Try to create a brainstorming list with at least twenty items.
Although it is unlikely that everything you think of in this step will be incorporated in your final letter (unless you author a book), having a large list will enable you to choose the best points to write about.
Now that you have a list of ideas, it is time to start organizing. Using a word processor, begin grouping similar ideas under category headings.
For example, one section might look like this:
- Learning to Fish On Lake Boon
- ’94 Camping Trip
- Leadership Lessons Learned From Bicycling
- Related Quote: “I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Once you have finished organizing, choose the three categories that you would most like to write about.
Each of these groupings will become sections of your letter, and the brainstorming ideas filed in them will provide the content for those sections.
Just as in essay writing, creating a planning outline will help you write a quality letter which will be treasured for years to come.
With the planning stages of letter writing completed, you are now ready to create your first draft.
Using a computer again, type out your complete letter.
When writing remember to…
- not edit (that comes later).
- be detailed.
- share your thoughts and feelings.
- express your love.
Once you have finished this first draft, let it rest at least overnight. This will give you a fresh perspective on your letter that will help you catch typos and mistakes that you would otherwise miss.
With your letter completely written out, you may wish to skip the editing part of the process. However, when you edit, you will be amazed by how many subtle mistakes are still hiding in your writing.
As you edit, work at:
- Expanding your vocabulary
- Making your letter flow well
- Using plenty of examples
- Showing your love
If you are like me, you will be shocked at how many mistakes you catch during this editing process. I nearly always feel like me first draft is great… until I start editing it.
Once you are happy with the result of your editing, you can start on the last step – handwriting the final draft.
Don’t even think about sending the type written version of your letter. True, it might be more legible than a handwritten version, but it will not be nearly as personal or meaningful. Type written letters are great for formal business notes, but handwritten letters still dominate in the arena of personal communication.
Using your manly stationary and a good black pen, handwrite your letter. While cursive is normally a better choice, you can print your letter if do not know how to write in cursive.
Once you have finished your letter, you can either mail it or, better yet, deliver it in person.
Although writing a Father’s Day card might take a bit more work than simply sending a cheap, prewritten card, it will have a lasting impact that a mass-produced card can never have.
Have you sent a Father’s Day card before?