I've done my best to answer all the most common questions and thoughts regarding my e-course, "Your Beautiful Letter." If you can't find an answer to your question here, please feel free to send me an email and I'll answer it as quickly as possible.
What does this course cover?
The purpose of the "Your Beautiful Letter" course is to equip and empower you with real skills and practical resources so that you feel confident writing and making really beautiful letters (in both appearance and sentiment). Of course, these skills transfer to all kinds of other writing and making projects, as well! You will learn and gain…
* Mail-art: I will teach you the art of decorating your envelopes to send them through the post. There will be tutorials and projects on painting, collage, stamping, handmade envelopes, wax seals, hand-lettering and more, as well as guidelines for making mail that survives the post, and is acceptable to post offices
* Writing: I will give you inspiration if you don’t know what to say, as well as new writing and storytelling skills so you can say it in the best way possible. There will be writing prompts; lessons on the art of story-telling; and tips for dynamic, engaging writing (which can be applied to writing projects anywhere, not just to letters)
* Time: Sometimes the idea of slow-living and the pursuit of genuine connections is easier said than done in our fast-paced lives. I cover time-saving tips (how to avoid lines at the post office!), tutorials and ideas for mail projects that you can do in five minutes or less, a guide to using letter-writing for mindfulness, and an exploration of the cognitive and emotional benefits of writing things by hand
* Connections: Writing a letter is one of the best ways to connect with someone, because it feels so personal: it is a gift of your time, and it is a tangible keepsake bearing your thoughts in pen and ink. Plenty of people will tell you they get better and faster RSVPs to mailed invitations rather than emailed invitations. I’ll help you find the right people to write to (both known and unknown) to forge real connections, make new friendships, and (of course) find beautiful mail in your letterbox, too
* Bonus resources: Complementing the lessons, you’ll receive a bundle of resources for creative inspiration, such as original mail-art envelope templates, handmade envelope templates of various sizes, stickers or labels to decorate your mail, art-stamps painted by me, postcard templates, and helpful lists, such as "101 ways to start a letter” and “101 gifts to send in the mail.” In addition, you’ll be invited to join my private mail-art pen-pal club, to start receiving lovely letters and little pieces of art in the mail from all over the world
Is this a business writing course?
No, this course is about writing personal letters to friends, family and other pen-pals. But I have been teaching and practising business writing (including business letters such as proposals, pitches and mail appeals) for 15 years. So if that’s something you’re wanting to learn about, let me know: if there’s enough demand, I’ll develop some new courses for you!
What if I don't have much time?
I know how busy you are. You know how busy I am! If you’re reading this you probably like the idea of writing a lovely, personal letter (and of receiving lovely, personal letters). But if you’re wondering whether or not you have time to connect in this way, you’re probably not alone. Life today is busier than it has ever been! But I think that is all the more reason why it is so special to slow down enough to write something meaningful, and personal, and show the person you’re writing to how much you care.
In this course I dedicate an entire section to “creativity for busy people,” talking about everything from time-saving tips (how to avoid lines at the post office!), to mindfulness practises, and a series of tutorials and ideas for mail projects that you can complete in five minutes or less.
As for the course itself, while the lessons are distributed over a four-week period, you’ll have access to the content for life, so you can dip in and out any time you like.
I'm not a creative person
You are! This is not a course for artists (although artists are welcome!), but for people who want to write letters that are beautiful (whatever “beautiful” means to you), because they care about the people they are writing to. I believe the desire to make something lovely for someone else makes you not only creative, but also kind. Wow I really like you! This course is for YOU.
On to your concerns… I’ll make it easy, I promise. If you don’t trust yourself at all, you can use my step-by-step tutorials, templates and designs to make your beautiful mail. But I also hope the lessons and projects in this course will give you the confidence to try something new - you might just surprise yourself!
I don't have anyone to write to
You will by the time you finish this course. I have devoted an entire module to finding not only people to write to, but the right people to write to: the kinds of people who will enjoy and appreciate your letters, who are like-minded, and who will write back! You’ll also have access to my exclusive community of mail-art pen-pals, who will fill your letter-box with thoughtful, decorated letters.
My friends are not the type to write back
That’s tough, especially when you put your heart and soul into creating a beautiful letter. But please remember, a letter you send shouldn’t come with an obligation to write back. Send it out with love, and let it be a gift to your friend, rather than a fishing expedition to get letters back.
That said, of course you want to find friendly, chatty, lovely letters in your letterbox. Who wouldn’t? That’s why I’ve devoted a section of this course to helping connect you with pen-pals (both friends, family and soon-to-be-friend strangers) who want your letters, and who want to write back.
But aren't emails and social media more convenient?
Yes. And also no. If you want to get in touch with someone fast, then online is definitely more convenient. If you want to make somebody’s day, snail-mail wins every time.
Thankfully, we live in a world where we don’t have to choose between the two.
I don't have anything interesting to say in a letter
I very much doubt that, but I DO understand the kind of writer’s block that has you stumbling through clichés and platitudes and “What have you been up to?” questions that leave you feeling unfulfilled and uninspired at the end of a letter.
I’ll give you literally hundreds of ideas and prompts for what to write in your letters, as well as actual writing skills for storytelling and engaging writing. You’ll never be lost for words again.
I don't really have the money right now
Don’t worry. I will still continue sending free mail-art resources in my monthly newsletter, as well as regular tips and tricks on my blog, so you won’t go unsupported. You can always revisit this course at a later date if your circumstances change and you still want to take part.
If you choose to subscribe to my newsletter, you will also receive my e-book, “Making Mail: 10 steps to writing letter that become keepsakes” free of charge, and that will start you on the path to writing beautiful letters.
What sort of support will you offer?
I’ll be here throughout the duration of the course to answer any questions you have along the way, and you can either email me directly with your questions, or pose them in the comments beneath each lesson to participate in the conversation with other students.
This course is designed to equip, empower and inspire you, and there are no wrong ways to express your creativity. However, I am happy to advise or support you if you feel stuck.
Is there a Facebook group?
I’m afraid not. I quit Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn a few years ago (here's how that feels, and links to why I did it) but don’t worry, I can still look after you.
If it’s access to feedback from me you want, you can feel free to email me or leave comments in the lessons at any time.
And if it’s community you’re looking for, I’m taking it analogue: at the end of the course, you’ll be invited to join my private mail-art pen-pal club to send and receive letters, mail-art and hopefully friendship from people all over the world.
Is this course international?
Of course! Once the lessons and resources are released each week, you can do them in your own time and anywhere you like.
Please note however, that this course is written in English, and I am based Australia. What this means, for example, is that while storytelling techniques are the same in every language, some particular peculiarities of English phrasing might not be relevant if you are writing your letters in another language. Likewise when I talk about “mail that can travel through post,” my experience has obviously mostly been sending letters from Australia. That said, I regularly send mail all over the world, so I can still speak quite knowledgeably about the kinds of letters that definitely make it to the USA, Finland, India, and just about anywhere else you care to think of.