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|Brittney Mayer • 9/29/16|
The Short Version: Whether you’re a wicked wordsmith or a literary lightweight, all can fall victim to writer’s block when trying to craft the perfect letter or email. The best cure? A hearty dose of inspiration, and WriteExpress is the place to find it. Housing a library of more than 4,000 letter templates and writing articles, WriteExpress contains tips, hints, and examples for completing a vast array of correspondence. No matter if you’re composing a first date invitation or a romantic anniversary note, the right template can provide the perfect foundation for a lovely letter — and WriteExpress probably has just what you need.
For me, few things are quite as agonizing as being trapped by writer’s block, especially when trying to draft important correspondence. Staring helplessly at the wide expanse of a blank white screen, with my brain feeling equally blank, it is hard not to think that the little blinking cursor is mocking me.
I do take some small solace, though, in knowing that I am not alone; writers have been suffering from the scourge of writer’s block for centuries. I like to imagine that even 17th century playwright Cyrano de Bergerac — famed for his wit and ability — occasionally stared down at his quill, completely at a loss for the perfect way to start his latest love letter.
For the novice writer, writer’s block can be even more perilous, as they have no established methods for battling it. Add to that the extra pressures of a budding relationship or important marriage milestone, and finding the right words becomes even more daunting.
Don’t ditch your ink pot, however. Proving that the universe delights in irony, someone out there was actually inspired by the bane that is writer’s block and developed a tool to help: WriteExpress.
Built by Dr. Melvin Luthy and Robert Stevens, WriteExpress is a collection of templates, tips, and hints designed to inspire anyone to write — and write well. “A lot of people struggle with their writing,” Robert said. “They just don’t know how to construct a good sentence, one that has impact.”
With a collection of over 4,000 writing templates, WriteExpress can inspire your correspondence and help you create the perfect letter for your dating event, from the first date invitation to an anniversary love letter — and just about every occasion in between.
Just as a quality house should have “good bones,” so should quality correspondence. Templates provide a foundation from which you can build great letters.
To put together the best templates, the WriteExpress team did extensive data collection. “We probably filled 60 notebooks with material,” Robert said.
Once all the research was in, the team started building content. “We had over 60 writers throughout the project, people who were experts in their fields,” he explained. “We learned that just because you have a degree in English, doesn’t mean you are qualified for letter writing.”
Thousands of those letters are available on their website, for free. The templates span 64 different categories, covering any occasion. For even more variety, WriteExpress sells a downloadable product that contains thousands of additional templates as well as an extended collection of tips, such as sample sentences and key phrases to spark your imagination.
If you really want to understand the mechanics of letter building, though, the place to go is the Tips page. The page contains more than a hundred helpful tutorials on letter building, with step-by-step guides and complete directions on crafting letters for dozens of different occasions.
Don’t know where to put that punctuation? Can’t tell your passive voice from your active one? The “Tips” page is also home to tons of articles on grammar, providing coherent explanations of many common issues. Poor grammar is something that is easy to spot and can make your writing look bad, even if the prose is good. Thankfully, it’s easy to fix — if you know what to keep an eye on.
Between posting, texting, and tweeting, we’ve all become experts at conducting most of our correspondence via an acronym-emoji mash-up designed to convey the gist of what we say in as few characters as possible.
While there may be a time and place for abbreviations and icons, even in dating, there are several situations where you should just use words. Here are the four types of letters (or emails) any dater should know how to write.
One of the most critical moments of any potential relationship is the first date invitation. A poorly executed invitation may lead to instant rejection. Even if your paramour accepts the date, you’re not out of the woods; if the relationship goes well, that story could be retold for years at every family gathering.
The first rule? Avoid alphanumeric codes that your date must decipher. Acronyms can have multiple meanings, and you never know how they’ll be interpreted. Besides, they make you sound like you’re 15 years old.
“HIG? UW2M4D? H2CUS!” — Every Teen, Everywhere
WriteExpress also suggests maintaining a positive voice throughout the invitation. “The tone of an invitation is always positive, in anticipation of a pleasurable occasion,” Robert said.
In other words: if you don’t make the event sound fun, why would they want to go? Avoid self-derogatory remarks, or language that makes it seem as though you anticipate being turned down.
Some may find it a little old fashioned, but there is something classic about the thank-you note. Everyone likes to be appreciated, and that gratitude will mean much more when it’s obvious you took the time to express it in a significant way.
Whether it’s showing gratitude for a thoughtful gift or just a really amazing evening, a thank-you note doesn’t need to be long, but it should still be sincere and well thought out. It’s also recommended that you include a compliment specific to the gift or event. “Comment on a positive quality of the gift, such as its usefulness or beauty, or some other distinctive quality,” Robert suggested.
Don’t limit your gratitude to the object or event, though. “A compliment or word of praise may be directed to both the gift itself, and to the thoughtfulness of the giver,” according to the website. Show that you appreciate all of the thought that went into selecting the gift as much as — if not more than — the gift itself.
As with a thank-you letter, a love letter need not be a novel to be effective. A short, sweet note that shows a partner they were on your mind is a sure-fire way to make your sweetie smile.
When it comes to romantic correspondence, the most important tip from Robert and WriteExpress is to make sure you’re words are genuine. Using a template is a great way to get inspiration or a good start, but you should never plagiarize your love notes. As they say, honesty is the best policy.
“From the heart is really important,” Robert confirmed. “I think people can see through things that aren’t from the heart, especially when you love each other.”
If you do want to take on the challenge of the epic love letter, there can be great romantic rewards — in an established relationship. Letters professing your undying love may not be appropriate for your one-month anniversary.
“They’re really good for engagements, or people who are married,” Robert explained. “If you’re engaged and write a great love letter, well, that letter will most likely be treasured forever. It’s a timeless thing.”
For an added touch of romance or whimsy, use on of their stationery templates. There are hundreds of designs, organized by theme or holiday, including anniversaries, birthdays and weddings.
Despite our best intentions, there is a time in a every relationship where we do — or don’t do — something for which we owe our partner an apology. A sincere letter apologizing for your transgressions can go a long way toward easing hurt feelings.
The key to an effective apology is to focus on the reparations, not the problem. According to WriteExpress, “Rather than focusing on the damage you have caused, write about the things you will do to rectify the situation.”
Don’t offer excuses. Take responsibility for your actions without getting defensive; assume the other party has a good reason for taking offense. Also, avoid getting dramatic; effusive apologies and flowery language won’t fool anyone, and it could even backfire if they take it the wrong way.
Additionally, keep in mind that timing counts. Make sure you apologize as soon after the incident as possible, and try to apologize in person if you can. A timely apology can help show sincerity and a genuine desire to repair the relationship.
With a little guidance from WriteExpress, you don’t need to be a French playwright to put together an appealing invitation or alluring love letter. Even the literary novice can write like an expert with the right foundation, and any writer’s bloc can be broken with the right inspiration.
So, the next time you set out to write a letter for your love, do not fear that writer’s block will imprison your quill. You can meet the mocking glare of the blinking cursor with confidence knowing WriteExpress has a template or tip that will help you wipe that look off its… screen.