Writing Exercise: Write Yourself a Love Letter
The February commerce-oliday (Valentine’s Day) is upon us, and I’ve got a creative nonfiction exercise for you. This is a wonderfully healthy (though challenging) exercise, especially given how often modern people face messages that tell them they are not good enough, that they need something or someone else to make them worthy of love.
Here’s your opportunity for a corrective: Write yourself a love letter, and mean every line.
Write Yourself a Love Letter
Bare-bones description: In this exercise, you will write a love letter addressed to yourself.
What this exercise accomplishes: The goal of this exercise is to help writers view the strength of their own character without apology.
Too much self-love is destructive for a writer, but too little can be equally damaging.
When writing creative nonfiction, it’s difficult to approach ourselves: We tend to let too much self-love or self-hate into the picture. When we don’t approach ourselves with the sort of compassion and, yes, affection that we give to other people, our main character can become unsympathetic and unlikable.
Address this letter to yourself. Write it as a love letter. Tell yourself why you love you. Go into details: Gush! Try to touch on the elements normally found in a love letter: What do you appreciate in your own appearance, personality, and behavior?
In your creative nonfiction, you won’t use the sort of details or voice this letter encourages. However, an awareness of your strengths and a willingness to approach yourself without the embarassment toward or feigned ignorance of them will help empower your writing.
The rules of the assignment:
If were grading you, these would be the criterion that determined your point total.
Point total: 10
- Structure this content as a letter addressed to yourself, including a salutation and sign-off. (1)
- Talk about your own positive physical characteristics. (2)
- Talk about your own positive personality characteristics. (2)
- Talk about your own positive behaviors or habits. (2)
- Use a romantic tone of voice. (2)
- Keep within the general suggested length, and use proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation. (1)
Suggested length: 250 to 500 words
Suggested exercise duration: 15 to 45 minutes
Example content: Dear Rob
You’re more than welcome to post your letter in the comments section of this page. If you have a blog where you would prefer to post your response content, post that in a comment along with a brief description of the site we’ll be visiting.
Rob D Young