Have you been thinking for a while to get involved into penpalling? Would you like to write letters to people all over the world but you still need to be given the last push? Are you wondering how to get started?
To start writing a letter you just need pen and paper, plus and envelope, plus stamps... Isn't it easy? However, you also need to figure out what you exactly wish to achieve when penpalling, which are your expectations when writing letters and what you are looking for in these future penfriendships...
You will need time and dedication as any activity would need, will and wishes to write if you are not used to, patience, deciding which way to be in touch with a penpal is the one you prefer, what are you looking for in a penpal...
1. Think about which way to stay in touch with a penpal fits you the best. My favourite one are letters, but some people prefer e-mail, messenger systems, Skype, social networks, penpalling websites, SMS... It depends on each individual and what this person prefers.
Remember that letter writing requires buying paper, pen, envelopes and stamps to send the letters. If you prefer e-mailing or messenger systems... you will need an Internet connection.
2. Think about what you are looking for in penpalling and in a penpal. Try to find and get in touch with someone who is similar to you or that have similar penpalling ideas. Decide in which part of the world you would like to have a penpal, which age, gender... your pal should be, in which language you would like to correspond, if you would like to talk about hobbies and interests you are already into and you like or maybe getting to know someone who has completely different likings and who is willing to introduce you in something totally different but new and interesting for you.
3. Plan how much time you have to do penpalling. Penpalling implies dedication and commitment. You are going to exchange your thoughts, experiences, ideas, dreams, hopes... and even private life with a friend far away who has feelings. Therefore, make sure about the free time you have to write and stay in touch with your penfriends. Wouldn't it be sad to stop writing to a nice penfriend because you don't have the time to do it anymore?
4. Before start writing, discuss thoroughly with your future pals what you are looking for when penpalling and what you aren't. Discuss if you prefer handwritten or typed letters and if you agree in the more convenient way for both of you. Mention about the length of letters you are used to write. Some people is disappointed when receiving very short missives. Others find that long letters don't suit them. So discuss and talk about it to make things clear before getting disappointed later on. Also discuss about the frequency you plan to write and send letters. Some people want to receive letters every month, other people prefer one very long, meaningful letter every several months... Are you using stationery or you don't like it? Even if this is not a key point when writing letters in my opinion, some people is addicted to write on cute paper. However, remember that many others don't have access to those cute papers for whatever reason. You have to value and weigh the friendship. In the end you will see that the written words are the most important part of the letter, not the papers where those were written. Do you like asking and answering questions? Make sure your pal does as well. If you don't like one-sided letters and you are looking for continuous interaction and conversation with your pal don't be afraid to tell what you are exactly looking for and expecting.
5. Make sure about your wishes of swapping stuff or not. Some penpals do like exchanching little items together with their letters (postcards, transportation tickets, stickers...) from time to time. Other people do heavy swaps of everything and anything frequently. Therefore speak about it before a misunderstanding occurs.
If you are looking for advice on penpalling check: "Tips on letter writing".