Writing a first letter can be challenging. In most cases you don't know much about the recipient and introducing yourself could turn into a boring monologue.
In all those years of pen palling I've written and received many first letters, and today I wanted to share with you 5 tips to write your first letter to who could become your new best friend!
1. Introduce yourself gradually.
It happened to me in the past to receive first letter in which people would write everything about them - from their favorite color, to the name of their neighbor's dog. If you flood a person with all sort of informations about yourself, they'll be more likely to forget about it, and besides, if you already told them everything there was to know about you, you're actually taking away the thrill of getting to know you gradually, just like it would happen in real life.
Include the basic informations about yourself, your hobbies, your hometown, but don't overdo it!
2. Include questions!
You don't want your letter to be completely one sided, if you want your penpal to engage with you in a conversation, your letter should feel like one. They don't have to be complicated questions, just a "what about you?" Or a "what do you think about it?" After you've said something about yourself should work!
3. Put an effort in it.
Not everyone is creatively inclined, but you don't have to be an artist to put together a nice letter.
Something basic you want, is to make sure your handwriting is legible and tidy, that's the very least you can do to show your penpal that you actually took time off to write to them, and not just rushed a few facts on a piece of paper. Everything else, decoration wise, is good, but as I said, it might not be everyone's cup of tea. Among the things you could do - you can draw on your stationery, decorate it with washi tape or stickers, or even just use a nice patterned paper to begin with.
4. Include something tangible
It very common for pen pals to send small goodies to each other. I wouldn't suggest you do it from the beginning, just in the unfortunate case that it doesn't work out, but adding even something trivial, like a magazine clipping with a picture of your hometown, could make your letter much more special.
If you're willing, you can also include something more personal such as a picture of yourself, or an artwork you made.
5. Have fun!
Don't take yourself too seriously, this person is about to become your friend so you have to keep this in mind. Don't write too formally, share an anecdote or two, be colorful, be loud, and don't be scared to put your personality on paper!
Do you have any other tip? ☺