Perks to Having a Pen Pal

I’ve always been a fan of handwritten letters and notes, but more recently I started corresponding on a fairly regular basis with a good friend of mine. Sure, we still chat on FaceTime, share witty gems over Instagram, and we text. But even those tech-y outlets cannot hold a flame to the allure of snail mail. It’s no wonder pen pals are making a fierce comeback!

The inspirational Ted Talk by Lakshmi Pratury, “the lost art of letter-writing” echoes my thoughts. We can have both the convenience of email and social media while enjoying the touch of a pen on paper.

Perks to Having a Pen Pal

Here are some of my favorite Perks to Having a Pen Pal:

1. To Correspond is to Connect. In a world where we are so “connected” – we’ve become incredibly disconnected. Don’t get me wrong I still love social media and blogging, but I’ve come to absolutely adore exchanging letters. It adds a personal touch.

2. You’ve Got Mail. Because there is something SO nice about opening the mailbox and seeing something other than 1. Bills 2. Junk mail – In fact, Luv does the mail checking now. She absolutely loves getting mail, that’s another reason I signed her up for a pen pal program. πŸ™‚

3. Tangible Memories. Texts/emails will die with you {or at least with your phone and any government records, ha!}. Letters can be read by your great-grandchildren one day, these letters will provide a glimpse of the legacy you will leave. Who knows, maybe they won’t even be familiar with what a “forever stamp” was.

4. Refine Writing Skills. I’ve likened my handwriting to that of a bipolar wombat before. No offense to those with bipolar disorder. No offense to wombats. Over a decade’s worth of emails, blog posts, and computer work can do that to one’s penmanship. I’ve noticed an improvement since I started teaching Luv cursive and I’ve been handwriting letters. I still have my moments of wombat writing, but that is usually when I’m scribbling down a recipe in the kitchen. πŸ˜‰

5. Go Deeper. Learning about another person is fascinating in and of itself. Supporting, inspiring, motivating said person is an incredible gift you can give.

6. No Limit to Your Love. The nice thing is… you will never be limited to 140 characters in a handwritten letter {or 160 if you, like me, have the polar opposite of a smart phone}. You can be as wordy and descriptive as you want. πŸ™‚

7. Letter Writing is Not Linear. Yes, I’m hammering that creativity point. When you write a letter, you are sending out a piece of you for another person to accept with open arms. Be YOU. You can sketch a newsletter format and write your letter in that style. You can break your letter up into topics and random tidbits {five favorite _______, random quote, inspirational gem, a dream you’ve had, etc.} “But nothing exciting happened to me last week” – allow me to kindly call BS on that. You have the ability to inspire, share a piece your world, share your spark with another human being. That IS exciting!

8. Spell Check. Imagine if you will: writing a paragraph without a squiggly red line alerting you of your misspelled word{s}. I cringe a little bit at the thought, I admit. And I agree, spell check is handy. But think of it as the anti-spam box you have to check to “prove you are human”. Or if the idea of misspelling a word gets to you that much – unclench look up a word in the dictionary {or dictionary.com}. I won’t judge* you either way.

9. An Excuse to Have Pretty Paper. Yep! I said it. It’s no surprise I love “pretty things”, and stationery seriously makes me swoon. I have my eyes set on a certain design currently. But I know myself well enough. I tend to mix things up {proof is in how many times I’ve revamped my blog in the past two years}, so doodling and zhushing up otherwise plain white envelopes and paper will always be an option for me, too.

Another presentation, with a nod to random acts of kindness, by Hannah Brencher: Love letters to strangers

Tell me, do you enjoy sending/receiving a handwritten letter?

* I reserve my right to cringe with the misuse of your/you’re/UR and their/they’re its/it’s, but I won’t hold it against you. Xo

See more pen pal inspo on this board!

Follow Enjoying this Journey’s board Pen Pal Inspiration on Pinterest.

Image credit: Old Letter And Quill Photo by Simon Howden via FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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  2 comments for “Perks to Having a Pen Pal

  1. May 10, 2015 at 4:39pm

    Yes, yes, YES! Nothing beats the lovely surprise of a hand written letter. Especially in this day of social media immediacy. Love it, Erin. X
    Joanna recently posted…Phoenix Helix Podcast: Autoimmune Skin ConditionsMy Profile

    • May 11, 2015 at 11:13pm

      I couldn’t agree more, Jo πŸ™‚

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