Lately, at work, I have had to sign several cards for co-workers: birthdays, death of an in-law, get better soon, etc., and it got me thinking. What has been the most heartfelt saying you have encountered in a card, whether printed by the card maker or penned by the card giver? What has been the most humorous? What have you penned and still remember as being the right thing to say in the right way at the right time?
It seems to me that cards are one way that all of us see the same struggles as writers. Some card types and card recipients are so easy to pen something for, while others are nearly impossible. Group cards are one way around it, especially if there are enough people so messages of brevity seem as sincere and fill the space, but what manner makes an individualized greeting card as sincere? Is it leaving the same brief message and one name or is it the fact that you can write more at length?
To me at least, I find writing messages in cards to be pretty much impossible feats and always stick to the tried and true. The only exceptions occasionally arise in a card for a family member or particularly close classmate, where sometimes, an inside joke fits. Most of the time, I ignore all of the blank space I leave behind, but once in a while, I will throw in a quick doodle or something equally childish.
So, I ask of you writers out there, what makes a greeting card good, and more so, how do you find writing messages for use in cards or in cards themselves? Is it easy, hard, something you do in default mode, or some way you find yourself writing some of your best work? Any insights you can give can benefit writers like me who really struggle with expressing ourselves in notecards or those writers who may want to break into the greeting card writing niche.