Thank-you Notes Trip up This Writer

The other night I was talking with my niece Carol Loucks about writing, and I said I’d rather write a novel than a thank-you note. My approach to thank-yous is to procrastinate forever because the writing will come easier in the future than it will right now. Anyone else share this rationale?

Is there help for people like me? Surely Google has the answer. I dug up several sites that want to help, most of which have the same basic advice. Here’s one from Hallmark: “How To Write a Thank-you Note,” by Jeanne Field.

OK, she has six steps, beginning with the greeting to the sign-off. I get that I’m supposed to say “thank you,” specify what I’m thanking them for, and offer details about how I’ll use the gift. I generally cover all six. Where I get stymied is that the message just feels so stilted. I seal the envelope and stick on the stamp, knowing that it lacks personality. It sounds dumb.

What do you do? Leave a comment. Thank you.


Write a short story every week. It’s not possible to write fifty-two bad short stories in a row.

–Ray Bradbury

4 thoughts on “Thank-you Notes Trip up This Writer

  1. Aunt Leanna
    I always had to do thank you notes after parties and my kids do them as well. No one does them anymore I have been told but still we keep on it. Anyways, I always started with dear xxx, thank you for the (insert gift here).( Said child’s name) really wanted this for his birthday and enjoy playing with it. We hope to see you again before another year passes by (or something along those lines) sincerely, my name and said kids name
    Something short and sweet does it, it’s the thought that counts and since these are a rarity whomever received this will be blown away regardless. They can feel scripted at times, especially if you really don’t know the person there isn’t any way to add “fluff”. I hope this helps you and if not, I tried (:

    1. You’re so right, Rhonda. Thank-you notes are an endangered species. I’ll take comfort in knowing the recipient is blown away.

  2. Where do you find such interesting topics and quotes? Love the Ray Bradbury. And about thank-you notes, well, you make it sound interesting but its always a struggle for me.

  3. Thanks, Sharon.
    I thought when I started this blog I’d end up grasping for ideas, but they just seem to present themselves all the time. One thing that helps, I think, is that my blog isn’t narrowly focused. If I don’t feel like blogging about writing, I can blog about reading and other things.
    Here’s where I get quotes about libraries:
    and quotes on reading by writers:
    Also I follow some writers on Twitter who sometimes post good quotes.

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