National Letter Writing Month

“How wonderful it is to be able to write someone a letter! To feel like conveying your thoughts to a person, to sit at your desk and pick up a pen, to put your thoughts into words like this is truly marvelous.”  – Haruki Murakami

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The Dempsey & Carroll Team has accepted the challenge of writing one letter per day for the month of April in celebration of National Card and Letter Writing Month. We always celebrate the art of the handwritten note throughout the year, but we are taking this challenge as an opportunity to reconnect with friends and family in the age of technology. It is always refreshing to see that people appreciate when time is taken to send a beautifully crafted note.

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We would love to see who else has taken up this challenge as well! Be sure to tag our Instagram handle @dempseycarroll and the #writeon and #dempseycarroll hashtags for the opportunity to be featured on our feed. Happy Writing!

Why We Still Write Letters

Think of how many emails you receive in a day.

They come from family and friends to fill you in on their lives, maybe with an attached picture of their new home or their dog. They’re sent throughout the day at all hours, containing business proposals, updates, commands, changes, ideas. You type up your reply, brief and informal, using terms like “EOD” if you’re at the office and colons and parentheses to create a smiley face in an email to your dearest friend from college. You sift through spam to sort through companies advertising their latest sales, their newest products, how you have to have it all right now!

Just a click away.

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Now—think about how many letters you receive in a week.

In the age of email and social media, letters are becoming increasingly obsolete. In a study published in the Telegraph, one in ten children has never written a note by hand. Yet there are still people out there (and I am certainly one of them) who are nostalgic for the handwritten note and yearn to preserve this tradition. We rebel against the conventions of our time, looking to tradition for ways to reinvent our self-expression. Writing a letter is a deliberate act of reflection, both of the relationship to the recipient and to ourselves.

With the plethora of emails I receive in a given day, I find solace in the discovery of a handwritten letter in my mailbox. I feel a wave of hope knowing people are still putting pen to paper and sharing pieces of themselves in the form of handwritten notes. It’s the experience of knowing that someone thought about you and took the time to create something special for your eyes only. With our Facebook or LinkedIn profile pictures as the new first impression, letters now become the true portals into the hearts of others.

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A postcard I received from my dear friend Marine, who lives in France. She used up every inch of the card– I just adore that!

Send a letter to someone who matters to you. Make your sentiments known in the way you cross your t’s and dot your ‘i’s. Show someone you love them. Your letter is something tangible; it will be held, touched, and read over again and again for years to come.

 

Madeleine Garone,

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Revisiting Our 14 Days of Valentines: The Chosen Love Note

This year we at Dempsey & Carroll asked ourselves, “Why does Valentine’s Day have to be only one day?” With this question in mind, we launched the 14 Days of Valentines to promote and honor the love that surrounds us. Image

We extended the opportunity to everyone to share their love notes with us. After being inspired by such moving and personal notes, we selected our favorite, a love note from Michael Buffon to his wife. He graciously allowed us to share his note, which can be found below.

I still remember the first time I met you…hours went by in what seemed like minutes.  I knew that there was something special about you and I felt an instant connection. Twelve years went by and through chance we reconnected and my life was changed forever.

My wife, best friend, and lover, you’re more than I could have ever imagined.  I love you more each day and I am yours forever.  I am truly blessed and celebrate our love with you this Valentine’s Day. 

Notes like Michael’s show us love is a profound and powerful sentiment that we can feel and experience. We thank Michael, his wife, and all who shared their letters for making this a very special Valentine’s Day for us. Though Valentine’s Day has come and gone, we can make believe it’s Valentine’s Day every day with kind actions (those “just because I love you” kind), smiles, and of course, a thoughtful handwritten note.

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The First Job Begins with a Thank You Note

Although the notion of less is more holds true in thank you notes, there is an art to writing them to a prospective employer. After a job interview, it is regarded as a courtesy to send your interviewer a thank you note within a few days. Sending a handwritten thank you note shows your prospective employer that you took the moment to reflect on the time spent with him or her as well as your commitment to the role to which you are applying. In an era that has given rise to the email as acceptable means of correspondence, you will be sure to stand out among your competition with a beautiful handwritten thank you note.

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  •  When writing a thank you note to a prospective employer, it is very important to weave unique elements of the interview into your note, especially a moment of discovering a shared interest or common experience during your conversation.
  • In addition to reiterating your interest in the job, the thank you note provides the opportunity to further highlight your qualifications for the role and to add in anything that you may have forgotten to mention during your interview. Be concise and confident.
  • To conclude your note, write that you look forward to hearing from your interviewer. Sign your note with a simple Sincerely, My best, or Best wishes followed by your signature.

The interviewer will be sure to take notice of your attention to detail, polite manner, and thoughtfulness—all qualities of an excellent future employee.

Madeleine Garone,

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A New Year, A New Note

The arrival of 2014 marks the advent of changes for many of us. As each new year approaches, we wade deeper into our marriage to technology, constantly checking our smart phones for text messages and emails with the tap of a finger. So I ask, what better time is there than now to reach for your favorite pen and stationery and write to someone you care about? It is undeniable that there is a personal touch embedded in the handwritten note that just can’t be replicated in emails. Share your wishes for good health and happiness with those who mean the most to you by leaping into 2014 on (or with) a positive note.

  • Think about your own reasons for writing your note. The reasons to write to someone are endless and timeless, whether it’s to someone to thank her for a fun evening, a kind gesture, or a gift or to let someone know that you are thinking about her.
  • Settle into your favorite spot before beginning to write. I personally enjoy lighting candles and turning on some calm music to collect my thoughts so I write something that is sincere and heartfelt.
  • To add your own personal touch, use colorful adjectives to highlight your sentiments or memories of an experience—the more specific, the more heartfelt the note will be.
  • Sign your note in a way that will create a lasting effect on the person to whom you are sending it. Try something simple like Best wishes if you are writing to a close friend or opt for the classic Love for family members or a love interest.

Remember that writing a note or letter means that you offer a tiny piece of yourself to the person to whom you write. The notes you send this year may very well become keepsakes, even mementos that can unlock the past in the years to come.

Beginning a note to start the new year.

Madeleine Garone,

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The Wall Street Journal on a Lost Art

“How many cards did you send this holiday season?” The Wall Street Journal muses on the relevance of the handwritten note in this e-literate world in a fantastic article by Philip Hensher. Hensher writes of the personal impact of receiving a note in the mail, and the connections made between people via handwriting.

Handwriting can be untidy and malformed and difficult to read, but there is always going to be someone who recognizes even the worst of handwritings and treasures it because of who it comes from. The handwritten letter from a soldier at the front; a letter from a boy on a first solo trip abroad, discovering the world and having lots to talk about; letters from a son who has just gone away to university for the first time—these were all common things until very recently.

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