WHAT’S the big deal about writing, anyway? For starters, it’s one of the best ways to let loved ones know you care!
Don’t get me wrong. I can talk on the phone for hours, and I look forward to texts and emails as much as anyone. But my face lights up most when I hold tangible words on paper in my hands. When my college roommate left notes on my desk, I saved every one. I kept all the sticky notes my mom hid in my lunch cooler when I worked downtown. Now, if my husband leaves me a love note on the fridge, it goes straight into my treasure chest.
This summer, start a habit of writing encouraging notes to your family members. Soon, everyone will want to get in on the fun!
Stock up on Supplies
Make sure everyone in the house knows where to find the essential supplies. Basically, you need sticky notes, pens, and markers. Go wild and stock up on multiple colors! When you pass the bargain bins on shopping days, keep an eye out for small stationery to add to the stash.
Over time, consider purchasing a family message board for the kitchen or living area. A chalkboard or marker board can be a great spot for writing and receiving encouraging notes. To save these notes, simply snap them with your phone’s camera!
Always feel free to leave notes for family members in obvious spots around the house. But when you’re ready to plan a stealthy surprise, try one of these ideas!
- Place sticky notes on your child’s cereal of choice or favorite beverage in the fridge.
- Notes for Dad can be hidden behind his mouthwash in the medicine cabinet, in the sports section of the newspaper, or under his socks in the dresser drawer.
- The women of the house will be sure to smile when they find encouraging notes in their purse, shoes, or spice rack.
- For your children, leave sticky notes in tomorrow’s history chapter, on sheet music they need to practice, or on DVDs they need to watch for school. Remind them you’re their number one cheerleader!
If you’re feeling creative, branch out from simple notepaper and write your encouraging notes on a different kind of object:
- Smooth shells or rocks can bear your gift of words—just be sure to test your pen first. Try a permanent gel marker, Sharpie, or similar writing tool.
- Choose an unspotted banana and write a message with permanent black ink.
- Use cardstock and ribbon to create a one-of-a-kind bookmark. Write an encouraging note to a brother, child, or parent, and tuck the bookmark into a book or magazine they’re currently reading.
- Collect an assortment of golf or ping-pong balls, set them out in a row, and write a sentence (one word per ball). See if the recipient can successfully unscramble your message!
From the Heart
Never underestimate the power of a few simple words. “I love you because…” or “I’m proud of you because…” can do wonders in chasing away fear, discouragement, or miscommunication. Brighten someone’s day and warm their heart with a handwritten note of affirmation or praise. You don’t have to be clever, long-winded, or eloquent. Just be yourself. You are a writer, and your words count!
> Your Turn!
What are some of your favorite hiding places to leave encouraging notes?
Daniella Dautrich is a WriteShop alumna and a graduate of Hillsdale College. She and her husband fill their home with books on writing, literature, and computer science. Daniella blogs at www.waterlilywriter.com.