The Art of Pen Palling
Whether you're looking to connect with an old friend, make an unexpected gesture for a loved one or form a new connection, pen palling is a wonderful way to practice your penmanship and feel a sense of community during times that might otherwise feel a little bit lonely.
If you're looking for the full penpal experience, write to someone you've never met. Our #Innsider programs of choice are PenPal World and Worldwide Snail Mail Pen Pals, both of which are free. When writing to a person you have not met, but hope to form a connection with, don't be intimidated. Try beginning your letter with an introduction to who you are, and pose a light-hearted question such as "something that brought a smile to my face this week was ___." As you build your friendship, feel encouraged to go deeper. We're Not Really Strangers has a wonderful card game with similar questions.
When looking at your letter length, try beginning with one page, or 250 words, and working your way up. As you begin to get more comfortable with writing your letter to your old friend or new pal, you'll naturally begin to write more. As far as frequency goes, keep daily communications for social media and email. Save those more meaningful conversations for your letter, and set a goal to write them on a weekly basis, such as Sunday afternoon and mail them out on Monday. This also gives you an opportunity to reflect on your past week.
All you need to do is think of a loved one or determine if you want to form a new connection, grab your favorite stationery, find a quiet place in your home or surrounded by nature and get to writing.