Self Help

That hair.

Dear Susan RoAne,

I caught the end of your talk on NPR  about the impact of a personalized note in our digitized world. I have a penchant for writing letters myself, one every day in fact, though a true handwritten letter is rare at this point. My handwriting is well… lets just say I’ve been told to pursue a career as a physician (although personally, I think my cursive if beautiful).

Much of your discussion was about the value of a handwritten thank you note. My mommy taught me well and I also believe it goes a long way. This summer I spent lots of time traveling/crashing on couches. Afterwards, I mailed my hosts a thank you note with a CD of music which was very well received. On the radio you mentioned that if you received a worthwhile handwritten letter, you would reply and send a pack of thank you notes. This letter has been transcribed and mailed to the address at the bottom of your website. But my letter to you today isn’t just for a free handout.

You are a writer, a speaker, and a coach. Your books (of which I have read none) aim to give people the skills and confidence they desire to present and network themselves well. Because  everyone feels out of place and awkward sometimes, your potential audience is huge. I recently read an interesting book called Quiet by Susan Cain, which discusses the concept of the “extrovert idea” and how our society places such a high value on extroversion. Everyone thinks they need to be hyper-extroverted to succeed when that’s not necessarily the case. And this is where you cash in. Not to generalize your work but I’m not a big believer in self-help books. As a genre I think they prey on people’s hopes and insecurities.

Looking forward to my thank you notes 😉

~Hayden

RESPONSE:

Hayden,
   Writing a letter a day is a wonderful project. I’m glad you caught the end of the interview. I read Susan Cain’s book, Quiet, before I revised How To Work a Room® because of her very publicized  position on the superiority of introverts. 
   You wrote that you’re not “a big believer in self-help books” but apparently you found hers to be informative. That’s good.
    What I said on KERA is that there is a place in my book where I address handwritten thank you notes. If a reader sends me a    
one, I’ll send them a package of notes.
   Although that’s not the case here, I will happily send you a package of notes.  Do not ever worry about illegibility of penmanship….mine is not good either. What counts is the effort and the personal touch that is so rare.
 
    Susan RoAne
Keynote Speaker/Best-Selling Author
 
Sent from my Cool iPad2!
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