Today’s post is written by the incredibly talented illustrator and designer Tara Joy Andrews. Tara is the creator of the BlogJam Atlantic logo, as well as numerous other whimsical and wonderful designs. Read on to hear her thoughts on the return of hand written letters and to enter a very special giveaway!
I fell in love with mail in elementary school when I was about seven years old. Our class did a letter-writing project and all of my classmates were randomly given each other’s addresses. We were given some writing prompts to write a letter and the teacher gathered the letters in their sealed and addressed envelopes, put stamps on them and mailed them for us. I lived outside of town so was disappointed that my letter took an extra day to arrive but I remember the feeling of getting something in the mailbox addressed to me from someone that a stranger had taken the time to deliver right to my house. At such a young age it seemed like magic.
Why Mail When We Have Texts, Tweets, and Email?
We have more ways than ever to connect with people. We can text, tweet, email, Skype, or FaceTime with our smartphones but there is nothing quite like getting a handwritten letter in the mail. You can’t touch a tweet like you can hold a letter from someone. Snail mail connects people more, feels extraordinary and because it takes time and effort to get pen and paper together to write a letter, the sentiment feels genuine and somehow more meaningful than a text or email.
The added benefit of mail is that you can also include extras like photos, artwork, postcards, craft supplies, washi tape (a favourite of mine), stickers, recipes, tea, flower seeds and a million other small flat items that fit in an envelope. Googling what to send to a pen pal will give you many ideas!
Snail mail is also a great way to meet new people, learn about different cultures and reconnect with friends and family. There are many snail mail swaps that happen hosted online or through email by snail mail enthusiasts. Some of my favourite mail swap sites are Pretty Postal in Toronto and Reading Residence’s Bring Back Paper in the UK. In June, I will host my first mail swap, you’ll find out how to be involved later in this post.
Time for You to Send a Letter!
Inspired yet? I was hoping you would be.
Decide whose address is going on that envelope. Think of someone that you haven’t connected with in a while or someone you see often but would appreciate a surprise from you in the mail.
There are many local artists (like me) that create adorable cards and stationery items that can further inspire you to get started. Your local bookstore or gift shop will be full of them, or just pull out a piece of printer paper, it doesn’t have to be fancy.
Not sure what to write? Here are a few prompts for you:
- Write about something you have recently accomplished
- Discuss the crazy weather we’ve been having or not having
- Share what you love about the current season
- Tell them about recent goals you have set for yourself
- Recommend a book, magazine, podcast or Netflix show you are enjoying
- Talk about a mutual friend you ran into and how much you liked catching up with them
- Talk about the best meal you’ve had and where was it, even better if you made it yourself
Once you start writing it feels like you are having a visit with the person you are writing to and the words flow easier.
Join My June Mail Swap
How do mail swaps work? You’ll send me your mailing address and it will be shared with one other person who also wants to send some mail. You’ll have a deadline to send your mail by and I will provide some prompts if you run into writers block or are not sure what to send. Also, if you both agree you can continue to be pen pals.
You’ll also get a coupon code to save 10% off anything in my Etsy shop when you join my
mailing list and throughout May I am also offering free shipping throughout Canada.
Happy snail mailing, I hope you get lots of letters in your mailbox!
Win a Snail Mail Starter Pack
To kick start your letter writing and snail mailing adventures, Tara has generously provided this awesome starter pack of 5 notecards and 5 postcards for one lucky reader!
To be entered in this giveaway, leave a comment and let us know who you would send one of these adorable cards to. Is it your sister? Your old roommate? A penpal? Let us know in the comments below!
CONTEST IS CLOSED. CONGRATULATIONS TO LAURIE!