… new penpal!
That’s right, I’ll be turning 34 on December 12, and I’d love to celebrate by getting a new penpal! It’s been a while since I did one of those Who wants a letter from me? and I want to write YOU a letter! posts… But this time I’d like to do things differently. This time I want YOU to write ME a letter!
So what kind of penpal am I looking for? Let me just say that I love letters that are funny or entertaining, filled with little random facts and stories that will make me smile. I prefer writing to adults (so 18 and older), because it would be awkward to share tales about my sexual adventures with kids! Kidding – I don’t usually mention those in my letters. And now that I read that sentence again, this doesn’t feel right. I don’t have sex with kids! I just don’t want to write to children about those stories. And now I should just shut up.
So you don’t necessarily have to write me a long letter – in fact, it might actually be better if you wrote a short/medium one! You could even just send me a birthday card with a few random facts about yourself… As long as you let me know that you’d like me to write back. Or you could just send me a birthday card – no strings attached! That would be nice as well.
So if you’ve been reading my blog and thinking “Wow, I’m sure Julie would make a great penpal, she’s slightly crazy, just like me!”, then this is your chance! Write me a letter and we could become penpals!
Here’s my address:
Depending on how many letters I get and how inspired I feel, I might reply to 2, 3, 4 or even 34 people.
So, will you be my penpal?!
First things first: I’m a long letter kind of gal. I’ve always preferred writing and receving long letters.
Of course, what constitutes a long letter is not the same for everyone. My long letters will probably be short to some people, and my shorter ones are probably novels to some people.
Just for reference though, my letters are usually between 16 and 30 sides of A5 stationery. 20 and up would be considered long for me, and less than 10 would be considered short, again, for me.
The problem with long letters is that they’re harder to write when I’m busy, which is pretty much all the time nowadays. I still enjoy writing letters and I always will, but with all my current and future projects, I can’t spend more than 3-4 hours a week writing. Since it can take me 5 to 10 hours to write a long letter, I can be stuck on the same letter for a whole month. Not good!
With long letters, it takes longer to write back, so I’m constantly behind on my mail. And since I’m so behind, I start stressing out and feeling like penpalling is a chore. But it shouldn’t be! It’s fun! Writing and receiving letters is wonderful. But when you start feeling some pressure, it takes the fun out of the whole experience.
A few days ago, I received a short letter from one of my penpals. (Hello fellow UFC lover! Will you be watching GSP tonight?!) She explained to me that she had been trapped in a vicious penpal cycle. I’m sure you know the one: you don’t reply right away, so you wait and then you feel like your next letter needs to be fabulous to make up for the delay, and the more you wait, the more guilty you feel. And since you’re not sure you’re capable of writing that awesome letter you think your penpal deserves, you push it back another week or another month, and when you finally write back, you feel so much pressure that you don’t enjoy it that much. Sounds familiar?!
Well, I think my penpal’s strategy was great. She said that she was breaking the vicious cycle by giving herself permission to write a short and boring letter. Brilliant! I liked her idea so much that I replied to her the very next day and wrote her a short, boring letter in return. OK, our letters weren’t actually boring, but they were short. Now I apologize to my other penpals who have been waiting for a reply from me for 2-3 months, but it felt so good to be able to reply right away to a letter without feeling any sort of pressure whatsoever… Just pure excitement!
I realized that I missed the feeling of receiving a letter and writing back instantly. Lately I’ve always been at least 2-3 months behind in my correspondence, and that sucks. Isn’t it better when you get a letter and you’re able to respond to your pal’s news right away?! But when you write 30 page letters, replying quickly is not only almost impossible, it’s kind of overwhelming. If I just wrote you a 30 page letter, I’m not sure I’ll have enough things to tell you 3 weeks later to fill another 30 pages!
So instead of writing 20 page letters 4 times a year, I’m thinking that it might be interesting to write 8 page letters 12 times a year to some of my penpals. After 12 months, more pages would have been written overall, and I think it should also be possible to have a deep relationship with more frequent, shorter exchanges. What do you all think about it? This question also goes to my penpals – would you prefer to receive monthly 8 page letters from me, or are you happy with the seasonal 20 page ones?
I want to know everyone’s thoughts on the subject! Of course different things will work for different people, but I’m curious to know how others see this.