There’s something about a new blank greeting card. You open it and run your finger along the texture of the paper’s fresh grain. You imagine your hand gliding across the surface in elegant calligraphy, the dark ink flowing in cursive rivers, branching into tributaries as you craft the most eloquent and heartfelt message. . . And then you snap out of it. You realize you’ve been stuck for fifteen minutes trying to come up with the right message. Have you been struggling with what to write in a greeting card? Don’t worry. Here are some ideas and strategies to create the perfect greeting.
Look to the Greeting Card Writing Experts
There are days so filled with joy that they brim over. May today be one of those days. Happy Birthday. (Greeting from our Hibiscus Impatiens Birthday Card)
The first step to writing anything (whether it’s a novel, a blog, or a manual for carburetor calibration) is to find out who the experts are and learn how they write about it. If you’re writing a greeting card message, it’s simple enough. After all, most of us have been reading messages in greeting cards for countless holidays and birthdays, ever since we were children. You probably didn’t realize it, but all that reading seeps in and makes it easier for you to talk like the pros. You’re already halfway there!
If you’re stuck, simply browse through the cards available on our website to get a feel for what a great greeting should read like—and why not pick up the perfect blank card while you’re at it? Take a look at these examples to learn what kind of style suits you best: fun, simple, sincere, elegant, or poetic. Find a style that seems close to your voice or that’s most appropriate for the occasion.
Use a Quote as a Greeting
If you’re still having trouble coming up with words of your own, why not borrow them from somebody else? A poem, song lyric, or quote from a novel can all be great sentiments to write in a greeting card. Don’t worry about impressing anyone with the quote you choose. There’s no need to dig up Gandhi or Shakespeare for your nephew’s 12th birthday party. A good quote can come from anyone. Choose something that speaks to you and share it.
If you want to be a little more original, you can try using a quote as inspiration to write your own greeting in the card. Or, combine your message with a quote. This strategy can be a useful way to blend different voices: if you’re quoting something fancy, your words can be more straightforward. That takes some of the pressure off, doesn’t it?
The internet can be a great way to find quotes if you can’t think of any off the top of your head. Just be careful that the quote you find isn’t taken out of context or attributed to the wrong source. To avoid these issues, try to quote from a source you’ve encountered before. After all, the best quotes are often the ones you’re already familiar with!
It’s always great to find a meaningful Biblical verse or even a poem. The Poetry Foundation website is a great resource for finding poems, especially for browsing broader categories such as “Love Poems,” “Birthday Poems,” etc. And while we’re on the subject of poetry. . .
Ok, so people are often nervous when the subject of poetry comes up, but thinking “poetically” is a great way to jumpstart your brain into using words and phrases you wouldn’t normally use in day-to-day conversation. And, while poems don’t need to rhyme or have any type of pattern, thinking in terms of poetic form can help give structure to our thoughts.
We often think of poetry in its epic forms (thanks, Homer!), but many poems are just a few lines long. Haiku, for example, are three lines or fewer, often arranged in syllable patterns (5-7-5 is the most common). Many other poems are four lines long, rhyming every other line. Still, other poems can be single, beautiful sentences that describe an image.
Try it out. You might just be surprised at what you come up with. If nothing else, try some freewriting exercises to come up with ideas and practice putting words together. Start with simple phrases like, “I love you because—” or “My favorite memory of you is...” Try to be as descriptive as possible.
Write the Perfect Greeting Card Message!
Whatever strategy you choose, grab a blank sheet of paper and fold it into a practice card. Use it to test some lines and measure out the space it will take to write your message transferring it to your “final draft.”
Are you excited to share your new greeting card writing talent? Browse our selection of blank cards to find the best greeting card to match your message. We look forward to making beautiful memories with you!