As an active pen pal for 35 years, I’ve heard a certain letter-writing “complaint” a few times. Individuals who are getting tired of the pen pal hobby because it has become boring, writing the same thing over and over again to everyone. “I did this and I did that.” — What’s the point? Well, yes, writing the same thing over and over again to every pen pal would indeed become rather boring and pointless! There is no point.
Writing letters should be about forming a friendship, not just about getting mail. I think some pen pals have forgotten about the friendship part. It seems that generally in our society, not just with the pen pal hobby, friendship has become a lost art. I’ve had related posts before, but this time I wanted to share some letter writing ideas so that you don’t end up writing the same thing over and over again.
⇒ While I do share my life news with my pen pals, I rarely write the same thing in the same way to each and every one! Know your pen pals. Each pen pal is a unique individual. There are things you share in common with them, and things that you do not. There are ways you are the same, and ways you are different. Keep this in mind as you write a letter!
I may write a long and detailed description about something to one pen pal, but reduce it to a 2-sentence summary to another pen pal. I know that one will find it interesting, and the other will find it boring. There are “areas” of my life that I share frequently with certain pen pals, but with other pen pals I only bring these areas up on occasion.
⇒ If your letters have become mostly about life news, bring something else up! Ask a question, and share your answer too. This is limitless, really! A few ideas…How would your pen pal describe their personality type? If they were given enough money to travel anywhere, where would they go? If married, how did they meet their spouse? When is a time they remember laughing their head off? What are some things in life for which they are thankful or grateful? Ask them about some of their “favorites” such as favorite movie, book, food, color, etc. Do they have any pet-peeves?
⇒ Finally, as I have often emphasized, a letter should be more than sharing your news. Respond to their letter. A letter should be a dialogue, not a monologue. Maybe you have a question about something they wrote about. Maybe you related to a problem they shared, and you can commiserate a bit. Maybe you really enjoyed hearing about their vacation, and you can simply let them know it. Etc.
I hope that gives you some ideas for keeping your letters varied and interesting, developing a friendship, and not being like a…robot…mechanically writing the same thing over and over to every pen pal!