Have you ever been intimidated when sitting down to write inside a blank card?
If it’s a thank you note, the person you’re ‘thanking’ and their extraordinary deed is likely at the top of your mind.
But if it’s a birthday card, retirement card, or anniversary card, facing the blank card can be challenging.
Most people find a card that captures the mood and has sentiments inside that are close enough, with room at the bottom to jot down a quick thought along with their name.
Or worse yet, they count on the card doing all the work of being memorable by choosing one that has a snarky message, likely implying that it sucks to be old, and you can look forward to a life of lousy eyesight, smelly farts, and ugly shoes.
These types of cards are memorable, but not in a good way.
A better option? Find an artsy, clever, or inspirational card that’s blank inside, and write a thoughtful sentiment in your own words.
Birthdays can be a missed opportunity to show your loved one you care. Many people think about buying the perfect gift, but it’s a scramble when it comes to purchasing the card.
Take the time to sit down and write a few heartfelt sentiments that
- Say more than just a few words to convey your thoughts.
- Say something meaningful to your loved one on this special occasion.
- Actually taking pen to paper and not typing or dictating through Siri for a change.
If you didn’t come from a card-writing family, aren’t a member of the clergy, or don’t own a service-based business that is personal, facing the blank card can be daunting.
Here are five steps to capturing the perfect sentiment for any blank card:
Step 1 - Find some quiet time.
- It may seem silly, but taking the time out of your busy life to stop and think about the person and the occasion is essential.
- This quiet time will help you not only choose a thoughtful gift but capture the perfect sentiment.
- Jot down notes on your phone, or somewhere you can find them later when you sit down to write in the blank card.
- Buy the card when you buy the gift to avoid the quick stop for a card when you’re running 15 minutes late to the party.
Step 2 - Write down some ideas.
- Start by using these prompts:
- Memories you shared in the past year.
- Things you admire about the person.
- How much you value your relationship.
- Write down three ideas for the prompt that speaks to you and expand on your thoughts.
- Any more than that and you’ll have to give them a notebook instead of a card!
- It’s best to do this before the party, not when you sneak away to the bathroom right before opening gifts. It also gives the seal on the card time to dry.
Step 3 - Craft your mini-story.
- Beginning - why you are writing, For example, It’s your birthday!
- Middle - pick three ideas.
- Stick with one theme and write three ideas.
- Or mix/match the ideas generated from step 2 above.
- Go with whatever flows naturally. Don’t force the sentiment.
- Ending - what you wish for them going forward
- Tada! Since you wrote a beginning, middle, and ending, you just wrote a mini-story.
Step 4 - Practice writing your message.
- Size up the amount of space you have in the card.
- Look at what you plan to write and do some visual alignment. Use a pencil if you need to make guides.
- Practice writing your mini-story on scrap paper so you can test the pen, ditching a pen that doesn’t work or has blotchy ink.
- If your hand cramps, step away from the pen and paper, do a little stretching, and come back to it. You wrote with pen and paper in 4th grade; you can do it again!
Step 5 - Write on the card.
- It’s time to sit down and write in that blank card.
- Take a minute to feel proud of yourself for not just jumping straight to writing in the card.
- You know what to say, and you’ve practiced writing the message; it’s time to go for it!
- Don’t worry if it’s perfect. Everyone loves a messy attempt at writing on the cake with a tube of frosting rather than a perfectly-scripted bakery version. It’s home-made!
Stop for a moment and think about how good it feels when you take pen to paper and write something meaningful.
They may not ever use your gift, but they’ll undoubtedly remember the sentiment you shared in that blank card!
Shop our selection of age-friendly cards to find the perfect blank card.