When I was a teenager I used to have a tonne of penfriends. It started with an organised penfriend exchange at school when I was about 11. Then I met friends on holiday I would start writing with. Later we started swapping penpals with each other to the point where I ended up with about 30 penpals, no kidding!
As I got into studying in my late teens, then working, then the internet blew up writing letters seemed a little pointless and I lost touch with all of my penpals. And through my twenties I got on with living my rather roller-coaster filled life!
Letter writing came back into my life as friends I had moved overseas and writing emails seemed impersonal. I would be sending care packages to them anyway so it was nice to include a letter, over time I increased the frequency of my letters and then after I got sick last year found myself writing letters and postcards more frequently, realising I find the process relaxing and enjoyable.
It’s not just the process of sending that is relaxing though, when post drops through our letterbox we have reached a point where we inevitably groan, another bill, more junk mail. Once you start exchanging letters with friends though you actually look forward to the postman visiting in case there is a letter in your delivery.
Receiving a letter, even before opening it makes me smile, regardless of my mood, the kind of day I’m having, how much medication I’ve needed and so on. It’s an instant pick me up. Seeing a friend’s handwriting is almost as good as having them in the room!
A few months ago, a friend of mine who I’ve been writing to for about a year started #LetterClub. She brought together a group of her friends including me who enjoy writing letters and exchanged our addresses so that we could write with each other, old school pen pal style.
We now have a rotation curation account on Twitter, and this week my friend launched a website so that anybody who was interested in joining the snail mail revolution can join and discover the enjoyment for themselves.
So, if you are interested in rediscovering the joy of writing letters, visit the LetterClub website and sign up (free until 1 August), visit our Twitter and say Hi, and find the fun in writing letters the old fashioned way!
In the mean time I’m going to get on and write some more letters!