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Photo: Nejron Photo (Shutterstock) It’s cliche to say that letter-writing is a “lost art,” but try to think of the last time you sat down and wrote a personal letter. Nothing to do with business or networking—an actual letter to another person in your life for the purpose of communicating information, messages, and checking in. For most of us, it’s been quite some time. If you’ve decided that this long stretch of winter is the ideal time to put pen to paper and catch up with your correspondence, you may be wondering where to start, or even what to say. Here’s some expert advice to get you on the right track. The format of a personal letter First, you have to decide how you’re going to write the letter: By hand, or electronically (typing or using voice dictation). There’s also a typewriter, but we’ll skip that one today. The medium is completely up to you; just be aware that writing a letter (or anything) by hand is much harder than you remember. Not only is there no way to delete what you’ve written (other than Wite-Out, crossing sections off, or just scrapping the whole thing), but you have no way of editing or moving the text around without it getting confusing or becoming illegible. As far as its structure, the Emily Post Institute has a helpful post that breaks down the three basic parts of a personal letter : the opening (address and date), the body, and the letter […]