Penpalling & Letters

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Tips on letter writing I

As it was told in the post: "Tips to write a first letter", have in mind that the first letter you send to a pal may be the most important one. Why? Because you have in your hand that this person replies to you or not. I am quoting here one of the paragraphs belonging to this post: "The first letter is the key when starting a penfriendship. In this first letter you have the chance to present yourself in a way that your future penpal should think you are a person worth to be known. Don't ruin your only possibility of making a very good impression of yourself by writing an uninteresting, awfully boring text or a letter of a very poor quality".

It is clear that you have to put in effort when writing the first letter but don't become discouraged if you don't get any reply. Sometimes, even if your letter is an interesting one, the addressee doesn't reply. This is one of the negative aspects of penpalling, and not always you get an explanation why your letter remains unanswered. Don't give up, though! If all of us who are into letters would have given up when something like this happened, no-one would be writing letters by now...

In these new series of posts about "Letter writing tips" I will be presenting tips and ideas to write successful letters. They should be useful and helpful for everybody, so feel free to use them to your advantage when writing missives.

- Here they go the first ones:

1. When contacting your new pal, tell where you found his/her ad and contact data. I think that mentioning this information is important when getting in touch with someone. Since very few people post their postal address online, you should write and explain about this when contacting this future pal through e-mail.

2. Never send mass letters, neither introductory or the next ones you are about to write. Mass letters cause a very poor impression and some people insist on sending those again and again. Of course the basics about yourself are what they are and they cannot be changed, but you are mistaken if you think you can write exactly the same text to everybody. If you do, you risk not getting any reply as people won't be interested in penpalling with you. You should take the time to add some extra details to your basics and adapt those to each pal you wish to contact to. If this person has written and ad you already know some information. Use this info you already know to underline what attracted your attention and got you interested in this person, why you would like to be pals and why she/he should become your penpal and start writing to you...

3. Don't forget to mention some essential information: gender, age and location. To some people those might not be too important, but others prefer to write to people of their same gender and in a similar age range. Please, be always respectful regarding people's requests and don't be annoying. They have already made their choice. Be sure there are lots of people out there willing to have penpals and no doubt you can find someone else who is interested in being your correspondent.

4. Use the tips I already mentioned here to write your first letter. You don't have to follow them step by step, but I am sure they will be of great help when trying to build your future letter!

5. Don't force anybody to write you back by any means. You should never make anyone feel obliged to reply to your letter. They will reply if they want and wish to do so. Keep in mind that all of us are different and the person who wrote the ad is the one who decides whom to be penpals with. Also, remember that there are always reasons which explain why people don't reply and this does not mean they ignore you or that they don't want to take a few minutes to reply to you.

6. At the same time that it is not advisable to insist too much if someone does not seem interested in being our pal, don't give up and don't feel discouraged if you receive several negative replies or you don't receive a reply at all. As I said above, even if you write a good, meaningful letter it may occur that the addressee does not reply. Don't blame yourself, either. There are many reasons why people don't reply: they already have too many penpals and don't wish to have more, they consider they have found better penpal matches already, something else is going on in their lives and cannot reply... Also, some people receive lots of requests, and even if a short message declining the petition sounds correct, it gets difficult to send those to a high number of people.

If you are looking for advice on penpalling check: "Tips on letter writing"

1 comment:

  1. These are excellent tips. I especially like your comment about not getting discouraged if you don't get a letter back from each person you write to. Letter-writers have to be willing to do a lot of 'fishing' to find penpals they really click with and if you get discouraged too quickly you'll miss out!