It's Valentine's Day, the occasion when we express our love and feelings for our nearest and dearest, or send a message of endearment to someone we would like to capture in our lasso of love.
These days it's easy to communicate our passions on Facebook or Instagram, send an e-card with bursting love bubbles and blossoming roses, or Zoom our beloved for a face to face tête-à-tête.
But what about that way of communicating which now seems out of date and, dare I say it, old fashioned? Actually confessing our love on a piece of paper or in a card, with a pen?
I am feeling old when I write this because writing letters (and I think back to my early school days when we used a fountain pen (I remember mine was a red Osmiroid that I got for my birthday one year) with a nib sucking up ink from a small bottle) was what we did before emails came along ... gosh, I may be ancient, but I'm proud because my generation has evolved well, adapting to the internet and computers and all ...
Do we even know how to write a Valentine's Day love letter, and is there anything better than receiving an actual letter or card on this special day?
Here are some tips to help you write your love letter - and I do mean WRITE with a pen and paper, no e-cards!
1. When we talk or post on Facebook, we don't often filter what we want to express: when you sit down to write with pen and paper, you can take time to figure out what you'd really like to say.
2. The act of engaging feelings and thoughts with your 'writing-with-pen-hand-on-paper' can help you delve deeper into your heart: that connection between thought and actual words on a page has long been the tool of writers to tap into the expressive vein.
3. When we write using pen and paper, we can express feelings that may be hard to verbalise in the presence of the other person.
4. Before you begin writing, spend some time jotting down thoughts, things you would like to say. When it comes to writing, you can then edit and hone to express more clearly what you want your beloved to read.
5. Adding some special and cherished memories you shared together can add colour and vibrancy to your letter. For example, you could write about the day you met.
And we don't need to wait until Valentine's Day to write a love letter.
We can write letters and send cards through the post all year long, and the subject of our letter doesn't necessarily have to be our partner or love interest. Love doesn't just mean romantic inclination. It can mean gratitude, thankfulness, the depth of an enduring friendship, a tribute to parents (alive or deceased), our children, even a beloved pet.
There are no rules for writing love letters - make it up to suit yourself - and goodness knows, with the world the way it is right now, we need all the love we can get.