Share this post:

Heartspoken Book Title: 

HEARTSPOKEN: How to Write Notes that Connect, Comfort, Encourage, and Inspire

Author:

Elizabeth H. Cottrell

Publishing Information: 

Koehler Books, 2022

Link to Buy Book:

Author Website

Synopsis:

In the hands of author Elizabeth H. Cottrell, the handwritten note is set free from old-fashioned irrelevance to become a superpower tool for connecting with others. Heartspoken: How to Write Notes that Connect, Comfort, Encourage, and Inspire will guide you to uncovering your own unique note-writing voice and give you the confidence to use it. Consider the flipping of a light switch. You can’t see the electricity. You may not even understand how it works. But when power starts flowing through the open wire, it is nothing short of miraculous. She will show you how to find and flip that switch in your own note writing, both personal and professional. Grasp this beautiful process, and your writing will become alive, meaningful, and impactful in ways you could never have thought possible.

Author Bio:

Elizabeth’s circuitous career has taken her from published leprosy researcher to stay-at-home mother, to community activist and leader serving on nonprofit and corporate boards, to ham radio operator, to freelance writer and editor. Above all, she is a connector and encourager whose expertise and passion for note writing is coming to a world made keenly aware by the pandemic that we humans are hardwired for connection. A veteran note writer herself, Elizabeth is the right person at the right time to help readers find their own heartspoken voice and learn to harness this powerful tool for nurturing their most precious relationships.

Book Excerpt: 

Preface: The Heartspoken Promise

The heart can speak when oft the tongue is mute.

Our sighs and longings wait to be expressed . . .

So trust your still small voice to speak them true,

And know heartspoken words are ever blessed.

~ Elizabeth H. Cottrell

A letter from a stranger was the lightning bolt that changed my appreciation for the potential of personal notes forever; from that day on, I saw them as a force for good in the world.

I’ve always written notes, because that’s what we were taught to do when I was growing up in the 1950s. I learned the skill from my mother and both my grandmothers. They all wrote beautiful notes. It was expected. It was good manners.

But the day I received that letter, I suddenly realized it was so much more.

The letter was from a woman devastated by the loss of her son:

“I truly appreciated the encouraging letter you sent my son’s fiancée after my son took his own life. She shared it with me, and it came during one of the most difficult and testing times of my life. I know I have read your note over 25 times; it was a lifeline which kept my spirits up.”

What on earth had I written that could have meant so much to this woman? Her son’s fiancé was a neighbor of mine and only a casual acquaintance. I only remember, upon hearing the news of this man’s tragic death, that I wanted desperately to reach out to her and let her know she was not alone. To this day, I have no idea what I wrote, but I know it came from my heart and carried a genuine desire to comfort her.

On reading the mother’s anguished missive, I remember experiencing a moment of instant clarity: a note crafted with thoughtfulness and compassion can have impact and create a ripple effect. I’ve been a believer in the power of note writing ever since.

I do not use the word “power” lightly.

As I began sharing my enthusiasm for note writing and encouraging others to help me revive the lost art, I heard more and more stories of notes and letters (notes just being shorter in length than letters) that made a difference by connecting, comforting, encouraging, or inspiring. I was surprised to learn how many of my friends lacked the confidence that would enable them to be regular note writers.

“I wish I could write notes more easily.”

“I never know what to say.”

“I’m afraid I’ll say the wrong thing.”

This book is for all those friends. And this book is for you if you

  • would like note writing to be easier, quicker, and more fun
  • want to write more personal notes but can’t seem to find your own voice to do it
  • want confidence and ideas about what to say in a note, especially when the situation is awkward or laden with deep emotion
  • want to learn how note writing can become a powerful communication tool in your professional life
  • want to learn about notes that have impacted lives
  • need the perfect gift for anyone who is a natural connector or dedicated note writer

I will show you how to reframe the writing of notes, slip into an artistic, creative flow, and pull inspiration and energy from beyond yourself.

Consider the flipping of a light switch. You can’t see the electricity. You may not even understand how it works. But when power starts flowing through the open wire, it is nothing short of miraculous. I want to show you how to find and flip that switch in your own note writing.

Grasp this beautiful process, and your writing will become alive, meaningful, and impactful in ways you could never have thought possible. You’ll become part of a long and illustrious epistolic heritage.

Some say the handwritten note is a dying art; yet in both professional and personal life, it is still one of the most powerful tools we have for connecting meaningfully with others. A well-written note can give voice to the stirrings of your most heartfelt sentiments and can be read, saved, and treasured forever. While I am passionate about the special gift of a handwritten note sent by mail, this book will help you write any kind of note—personal or professional, handwritten or typed—with more energy and impact. With more heart.

Whether you are comforting a friend who has lost a loved one, congratulating a coworker on a job promotion, or thanking a potential boss for an interview, this power comes through your heart and out through your pen onto paper. Your note’s reader feels this same energy at the other end. Sometimes it’s just a small warmth . . . sometimes a glow . . . sometimes a blazing flame. But when you make your words heartspoken, you change a simple piece of paper to an affirmation, a hug, a pat on the back, a comforting touch, an encouraging pep talk, or an expression of sympathy, love, or gratitude.

Stop wondering how to do it, for I believe you will quickly master writing short, simple notes that connect, comfort, encourage, and inspire.

Once you learn how to make your notes heartspoken, they are no longer an obligation—they’re a privilege and a joy.

Elizabeth H. Cottrell

 

Share this post: