October 24, 2011
Snailin' It - Join the project!!!
A lot of people call mail that arrives in a mailbox "Snail Mail" since it arrives slowly. We live in a-fast-responding-social-networking world. We expect things so immediately that sometimes we forget how to relax and take our time. There is a beauty in letter writing; a sort of romanticism that I love in learning about other people and seeing their handwriting and being able to connect personally with them.
If you want to be matched up with a penpal (from either your own country or another), please do the following things:
1. Sign up only if you are dedicated to writing to someone. Don't sign up and never write to the other person. Please be dedicated to writing your pen-match more than once as well. I understand you have a lot that you do, but don't let a letter response go unwritten for over 3 or 4 weeks at a time. A letter should never be delayed for more than 6 weeks (if you don't hear from your pen-pal the first time after 3 weeks, please let me know and I will match you with another person).
2. Fill this out (it is information I will need to match you with someone, and some information will be given to your pen-pal/s. It will not be shared anywhere else.)
3. Please either tweet, re-link this post on your facebook (or other social networking areas) or link one of the following images on your page with a link back to this entry! (you can do both if you want). This will help spread the news and give you a better chance of being matched faster with someone else. Tell your friends too!
4. Common letter writing rules (though you don't HAVE to do it): write a date on it, write a term of endearment such as "Dear Victoria," and always end your letter signing your own name. Ask questions. Respond to questions. Don't be brief. Letters should paint a picture to the reader of what you are going through or what your life is like. Be descriptive (don't just write a 3-sentenced opening letter or response to someone). Talk about yourself as much as you want, but again, also show an interest in the person you're writing to! This is common courtesy in letter-writing! People who do these things will be able to continue their letter writing to the same person for a few months to a few years!
5. Be aware that postage costs differently in each country (if you want a pen-pal in another country, be sure to find out the rate for that area)! Make sure you have your letters sealed properly and that your addresses are legible so they don't get lost so easily in the mail! (I like to tape letters going out of country up pretty good and write "air mail" on it).
When do we begin?
We have had 35 people involved in the exchange (updated as of June 21, 2012). You can sign up today! Give about 2 weeks'- 2 months' time before you receive a response about your match as I need to wait to receive enough submissions before matching people up and I match based on and age group (and I try to match by interests as well)!
MY OWN LETTER WRITING EXPERIENCE
My love for letter writing began when I came home from my first time away at camp (I was 11, it was the weekend of her 12th birthday). I made a friend who was so much like me (and I didn't have any friends so a bond was created) that I exchanged my mailing address with her. She was my first pen-pal even though she only lived 4 hours away. We wrote each other constantly. We would meet up a few years later at camp again (which happened for a few years in a row). Eventually I would see her outside of camp a few times (most recent was earlier this year). After all these years she is 28 and I am nearly 28 and we still write one another, though not as often.
When I was 13, I enjoyed writing to my pen-pal so often, that I was excited when my 7th grade Language Arts teacher introduced to us a program where we would receive a pen-pal outside of the US. We each had to choose one and it cost us $7 to do! I loved writing so often that I received 3: one from Korea, one from England, and one from Ireland (who never responded and was replaced by one from British Colombia, Canada). I wrote them until I stopped hearing from them (which lasted a few years)! During that time I collected many more pen-pals from camp and one from a girl I went to school with who had moved. By the time I was 15 I had 64 pen-pals. It was so fun for me! Keep in mind I didn't have friends, so these people were my closest friends. In time they all stopped writing me. Up to date I've probably had over 200 pen-pals (most were short-lived). I have always responded to every letter I've received.
Currently I have about six pen-pals. Some have been writing to me for a few years. It is really fun to receive a letter in the mail, read it, and have the chance to sit down and write a hand-written response! I truly encourage you ladies to be a part of my new project "Snailin' It".