This morning I received an email from the head farmer at my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture – a sustainability model for local farms) and was so moved that I wrote back to her. Why? Not because this is the last week in what has been a good season. Not because this is new and different for me – it’s my 6th year doing a share at a CSA. But because she sounded so grateful, so satisfied, so happy. In other words, she moved me to write her. How amazing is that?
She was not selling future shares – they sell out and get a waiting list within days of announcing the next season. She will not be asking for donations at any point – this farm is a part of The Trustees of Reservations and they solicit me from time to time via direct mail. Yet she made me feel good. And I wanted her to know that.
Communication whether as part of a thank you campaign, a newsletter, a personal letter in an annual report, a quick note scribbled on an invite or an email feels good to the person who receives it. Well, as long as it is well written.
What is in a well written note?
A well written note should include:
- A subject or purpose: No one wants pure fluff. And no one reacts to a lack of substance.
- Something that makes it personal to both of you. The farmer was writing on a topic that could be incredibly dry but instead she wrote with such passion that I wondered whether her love was the reason for my incredibly oversized rutabaga. (It was larger than my 8-year-old’s head).
- Feelings. The reader will know whether you were excited, sad, happy or bored when you wrote your note.
- Length- it can be two sentences or two pages – just make sure it invokes feeling.
- It was written. No one will ever know what your intentions were unless you follow through and write the note.
And the truth is, writing something with passion and substance feels good for the writer too. Trust me.