Pen palling is a great hobby where you can build friendships and learn about different parts of the world. Its perfect for those of us who live in rural parts of the world where the nearest neighbor is miles away. Pen palling is also great for Moms who stay home all day with the kiddies.
So how do you get started? Well, the first thing you need to do is submit your name to a few pen pal sites. But maybe you'd like to contact someone first. Your first letter should be informative, but short. I really don't recommend over a regular sheet of notebook paper. Mention in your letter how you found them. I'm always curious how people find my name since its been years since I've submitted a pen pal ad. Mention what drew you to that person. Do you have something in common or did they just seem interesting? Next tell a little bit about yourself. Don't forget to add in your letter your likes and favorites. This gives your new friend plenty of opportunity to find some commonalities.
How your letter looks says a lot about you. I've gotten letters scribbled on a sheet of ripped off spiral bound tablet size paper and you know what?...I didn't write back. Stained paper, poor handwriting, bad grammar and spelling mistakes are probably best to be avoided. Watch for pens that leave ink blobs too. They can make your letter a terrible mess. Typing is a good way to get around all of that. When computers became commonplace pen pallers took to the keys much to the disdain of hardcore letter writers. I, myself, didn't care at all for typed letters, but now they are very much accepted. I don't mind typed letters at all especially with some pretty paper and nifty fonts. Sometimes I even type too! If ya can't beat 'em...join 'em! The point is, is that pen palling is a creative hobby that deserves time and attention just like any other hobby.
Finally, postage. Make sure you have the right postage. If you're unsure, then go to the post office. Nothing is more disrespectful than having to pay postage on a letter from someone you don't know. Also, invest in some typed return labels. You should have put a return address in your letter, but sometimes handwriting can be hard to decipher especially numbers. A typed return label will clearly show your correct mailing address. Send off your letter and see what happens.
Don't be upset if you don't get a response. There are many reasons why people don't write back ~ have too many pen friends already, no time to write, simply feel no connection with your letter. Whatever the reason, keep trying and you'll have a pen friend in no time!