Welcome to Day 24 of the #sendcardsspreadlove challenge for National Card & Letter Writing Month!
If you’re just joining us, you can get all the details for the Week 4 challenge here. PLUS there’s a recap at the very end of that post with all the previous weeks, cuz there’s a lot of good stuff you don’t want to miss out on!
Day 24 Of The 2016 #sendcardsspreadlove Challenge
In continuation of this week’s challenge, “I Get By With a Little Help from My…”, we have our final guest post from Linda Nguyen of Curious Notions and Girl Eats World, who shares tips for being a better pen pal.
Linda and I met many years ago through the now defunct #reverb (where we shared the responses to daily writing prompts on our blogs). We got to know each other through our #reverb answers and then afterwards through reading and commenting on our personal blogs. And this led to us becoming pen pals too. I’ve always admired her for many reasons – she’s super smart, curious, introspective, fun and creative. And sharing a love for handwritten letters is the icing on the cupcake.
For many years I’ve been an avid letter writer. In fact, Danielle and I were pen pals a few years back. I loved sharing what was going on in my life, hearing about others, sending funny jokes and stickers, and most of all, I loved the anticipation that came with receiving a pretty envelope addressed to me.
The last couple of years, I’ve fallen off the wagon in being a “just because” writer. I fell off the wagon after a major breakup and then immersed myself into the emotional roller coaster of dating. Letter-writing fell off my list of priorities. I defaulted to only sending thank you notes and a few Valentine’s Day letters to my girlfriends.
Now that I’m no longer distracted by a broken heart or the minefield that is dating, I think I have the emotional bandwidth to reclaim the letter writer in me!
So here are my 3 tips on how to be a better pen pal:
- Keep stamps and stationery on hand. Not only in your home but also keep some stamps in your wallet! I’ve sent postcards while traveling and it was easy to send letters and postcards on the fly with stamps already in my wallet. I also used to keep stationery in my purse along with books. I called my purse my “activity bag” and in addition to books and notebooks, I’d also have notecards and envelopes. Whenever I was stuck in a waiting room, I’d use the time to write a note to a friend, read a book, or catch up on my journaling. It also gives you a break from the mindless smartphone scrolling!
- If possible, write a response right away. When one of my best friends and I lived in different states, we sent each other letters. We stopped writing when she moved to my state and we became co-workers. Since I got laid off, we’ve been struggling with keeping in touch. We tried chatting online but work got in the way. We tried scheduling dates but our schedules rarely aligned. A few weeks ago I received a letter from her in the mail. Inspired by Danielle’s call to action to send more mail in April, I literally wasted no time to write her back. Instead of adding the letter to my pile of tasks, I pulled out stationery, wrote her a response, and even stamped, addressed, and dropped it in the mail.
- Add address details to your contacts in your phone. It takes a few extra minutes of your time, but adding address details to your contacts in addition to the phone numbers you have in your phone will make letter writing easier. I’ve learned as I grow older, the easier a task is to do, the more likely you’ll do it! By having your friends’ addresses always on you, it’ll make you more likely to write to them.
I hope these tips and the other blog posts on Pretty by Post® will inspire you to #sendcardsspreadlove.
Thank you Linda for the tips on being a better pen pal and inspiring those of us who have fallen off the bandwagon, or who want to start writing more letters and to just do it already.
Have you fallen off the letter writing bandwagon? Share in the comments how you plan to get back on track and get more letters out in the world!
Linda Nguyen is addicted to words, pretty photographs, and social media. She has been sharing her feelings and words online for decades now. Her favorite social media channel is Instagram. She blogs at Curious Notions and she shares her adventures in travel and cuisine on her food blog Girl Eats World. She has a podcast with her friends called I Feel Better, draws a series called Doodles About Feelings, and writes a weekly roundup called Friday Feels. You can say she really earns the F in ENFJ.