Saturday, May 30, 2009

What makes a good letter?

I've been thinking about it this afternoon.

You see, when I was young (between the age of 7 and 14 maybe), I thought that the most interesting letters were from people who had beautiful handwriting, who put cute stickers on cute stationery and drew doodles on the envelopes.

Of course, I still like to receive letters that were written on nice letter sets and everybody knows that I still have a handwriting fetish. But the most important thing to me about the letters I receive now is the connection that I have with the other person. You know when it just clicks with someone? That's what I'm looking for in a penpal. So if that person doesn't have the greatest handwriting in the world and writes on plain white paper, that's perfectly fine with me.

I also like when the person who's writing me is interested enough in my life to ask questions about me and what I've been up to. Comments on my last letter are also wonderful to read. I like when letters feel like conversations between old friends.

I'm not especially crazy about letters that only describe daily events. I do like to know what my penpal does and what his/her daily life is like, but I'm also interested in feelings, opinions, dreams, goals, fears, things like that.

So everybody who's into penpalling, tell me... What do you think makes a good letter?

Julie xox


  1. Hi, lovely shop! Just read your interview on The House of Mouse's blog.
    I don't handwrite many letters these days but I love the fact that they take longer and will be more reflective than your average e-mail. Love to receive them, that's for sure!

  2. For me, I like a letter to feel personal.

    While I enjoy philosophical dreamy letters, I equally like ones of a daily nature. Penpals become friends to me, usually very good ones (to the extent that I refer to them as friends that I write, not penpals:)), so if I don't know how they live their days, how they see the world in the mundanely magical moments, then I feel like I'm really missing out on their lives. I feel the distance more. (I also think daily events tend to give insight and reflection on "deeper" issues, like the dreams, fears, opinions, etc you mentioned.)

    Anyway, I'm sorry for not posting sooner, but happy penpal day to you too. :)

  3. I totally agree. I have those penpals who apologize for using just plain paper, but they really shouldn't. I'm happy with any letter and the stationery doesn't have an influence on how much I like the person. It's all about how you click with someone indeed.
    For letters, I like it when they respond to my questions & ask me new questions, because it's much easier to write back that way. For subjects, they can talk about anything, but it's nice if they talk about their personal life at least every now & then. With personal life I mean what they really care about, what's bothering them, what they're looking forward to, ... Not just what they have been doing or what they are up to.