The other week The Husby called me a pen pal floozy – a floozy! – because apparently, according to him I have lots of penpals, when in reality in the world of snail mail I actually have very few.
This then raised the question of how many is too many? I’ve heard of some avid letter writers out there who have 30+ penpals on the go, but I guess the answer to this question depends entirely on how much time and energy you have to dedicate to exchanging letters.
The great thing with snail mail is that anything goes and there is no one way to write letters so you can tailor your penpalling to suit your needs. I have penpals with various styles and tastes and with some I exchange long handwritten letters with creative envelope art and with others it’s simply a postcard.
With that in mind I have grown my penpal list not only to suit my interests but to balance well with the time I have.
Here’s a quick look at my current penpal count:
When starting with snail mail and letter writing I always suggest you utilise your existing contacts first and these are the gal pals that I started with:
Cherie, New Zealand
When Cherie moved back home to New Zealand in 2014 sending surprises in the mail was one of the ways I was able to feel closer to her despite the distance. I mainly send cards and small parcels on an ad-hoc basis for the whole family to enjoy.
I met Bec back in 2012 when we were both staying in Bournemouth for a short while. We hit it off and stayed in touch via social media and recently began to exchange letters and play a spot of mail tag.
Ruth and I met when our husband’s were at college together back in 2012. Again, we kept in touch via social media but recently discovered we both have a mutual love of letter writing so started exchanging letters every couple of months.
When I decided to find some new penpals in the true sense of the word and exchange letters with people I’ve yet to meet, I then found these lovely ladies whom I exchange letters with, roughly on a monthly basis.
Sarah is the first pen pal I found via The Postal Society and we like to exchange simple letters and paper goodies on a regular basis.
Loren, New Hampshire USA
Loren was the next pen pal I found, also through The Postal Society and we both enjoy writing long letters, using washi tape and playing a bit of mail tag.
Kristin, Texas USA
Kristin and I are both members of the Letter Writers Alliance and met via Instagram. We swap recipes, play mail tag and send lots of bright and creative snail mail.
Barb is a fellow blogger and letter lover and we also met via Instagram. We both have a passion for the art of letter writing and hope to encourage others to take pen to paper.
I found Maija via Postcrossing and we now exchange postcards about twice a month. I do love the challenge that comes with writing something interesting on something so small!
Anja is my newest penpal also found through The Postal Society. We both love mail art and papery goodness so like to get our craft on and go all out with our snail mail creations.
So there you have it. That’s only 9 pen pals, 3 of whom are existing friends that I’ve known for a good few years now, hardly what I would call a penpal floozy!
For me nine is very manageable as I tend to only have 1 to 2 pieces of snail mail on the go each week. Don’t tell the Husby, but I’m actually hoping to add one more penpal to my count as I’d love to learn more about another country and culture. Ten feels like a good round number, don’t you think?