Finding friends and maintaining friendships through letters is fun and exciting. With a pen pal, you can easily communicate with someone from a different country who has many interesting experiences to share. The Internet offers a variety of ways to get in touch with friends from all over the world, so finding a pen pal is the easy part. Once you have one, writing letters doesn't come naturally to everyone, so it may take a bit of time and practice to learn how to write interesting letters to your pen pal.
Make a list of your hobbies and interests. Write down things you enjoy learning about and topics that fascinate you. This will help you write an engaging letter that gives your pen pal a variety of subjects to reply to. Once you have your list, it's time to start your letter. If it's the first time writing to a new pen pal, begin with a description of yourself and what activities you enjoy. Telling your pen pal about your areas of interests will likely create common ground if he has similar interests.
While it's important to include personal facts about yourself, don't make your letter entirely about you. Tell your pen pal about your home and the area where you live. This is especially important if you are from different countries. People love to learn about other places and cultures. Describe the city or state in which you live; perhaps even things you take for granted like railroad tracks, streams, mountains, or lakes. This will encourage your pen pal to relate details about her country and the things that make her homeland unique.
Pen pals enjoy learning not only about you, but your family also. The details you reveal about your family are entirely up to you, but the more information you give, the better your pen pal will get to know you. Our families define a lot of who we are as individuals, and how we interact with each other tells much about our personalities. Relate funny stories about your siblings or why you look up to your mother. Think back to the stories your grandparents told you when you were little. Your pen pal will no doubt love hearing those as well.
Be specific when you write about your hobbies and interests. Rather than saying "I like to read," tell your friend what books you like and why. When discussing your favorite hobbies, talk to your friend about why you enjoy those activities. Instead of just saying "My hobbies are quilting, scrap booking, and painting," tell your friend specific reasons why those are your favorite pastimes. Perhaps your best friend got you started with scrap booking, or your older brother shared his passion with painting with you. Little facts that seem insignificant to you won't seem that way to your penpal.
Don't forget to ask questions in your pen pal letters. This is the best way to get to know your penpal better, and the only way you can open up true communication. Rather than listing a series of questions at the end, incorporate them into the letter. "I love thriller novels by James Patterson. Who is your favorite author?" You could also say, "My older brothers tease me a lot. How do your brothers treat you?" Asking questions lets your pen pal know you are interested in her and what she has to say. For more ideas on what to write, join a pen pal forum or group.
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Alaina M. Coyle has been an published freelance writer since 2007. She is a contributing writer with eHow, Answerbag, LIVESTRONG.COM, and many other resource Web sites. Coyle enjoys helping businesses improve their online presence by writing quality SEO Web content and user-friendly advertising materials. Coyle specializes in business management, parenting, and travel articles.